Bonnie Lee Thornock Buckley, 74, of Taylorsville, Utah passed away after a courageous 6 year battle with pulmonary hypertension, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Due to hospital restrictions related to COVID-19, she was surrounded by 4 of her children while her other 3 children and close family members joined her via technology.
Bonnie was born August 22, 1945 in Tooele, Utah to Merrill Smith and Alta LaDean Thornock. She graduated from Kemmerer High School in 1963 where she led the Kemmerer Rangerettes as head baton twirling, drill majorette. In high school she spent time babysitting for a family who told her they had a brother in Australia who they’d love to have her meet. She and dad courted and became engaged before she attended LDS Business College from 1963-1964. After his return from basic training, she married William “Bill” Buckley on June 12, 1964 in the Salt Lake Temple. Bonnie held a variety of callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints throughout her life including Young Women’s President, Primary President, Stake Relief Society Presidency, Relief Society teacher, counselor, chorister, and her most recent calling as Temple Prep teacher, where she was able to lovingly inspire her class members to go the temple and take out their endowments.
Bonnie was a city girl taken to the country by her cowboy husband, Bill, to live on a ranch in Cokeville, Wyo. Some were surprised she lasted longer than a month on the ranch, but she soon discovered she loved this way of life and began finding ways to earn her own money. She raised bum lambs and sold them for enough money to buy her first sewing machine. From that point on, sewing became her love and passion in life. She sewed coordinating clothing, Christmas pajamas and doll clothes for her children growing up. As her daughters married, she sewed each of their four wedding dresses. She continued sewing Easter dresses, Christmas pajamas and baptism quilts for her grandchildren until the very end of her life. Bonnie’s work ethic and attention to detail carried her throughout her life and was an effective tool as she raised her family. She taught several girls to sew in 4-H and as a costume designer for many Cokeville High School musicals.
Bonnie began her working career in 1986 after moving to Utah with her family. In 1995 her two lives came full circle when she took a position with Utah Farm Bureau as an administrative claims assistant. She loved that the work she was doing was supporting farmers and ranchers throughout Utah, and enjoyed making new connections with her coworkers and clients. She would always bring home important safety tips to help her children avoid becoming another insurance claim. She retired from Farm Bureau after 20 years of service in 2015.
The biggest pride and joy of Bonnie’s life was always her family. She was extremely proud of their accomplishments and frequently let others know. She loved listening to them laugh, sing and joke around together. Spending time with her children and grandchildren brought her endless happiness.
Bonnie is survived by her seven children, Toni (Roger) Wilkins of Taylorsville, UT, Carolyn (R. Reyn) Price of San Antonio, TX, Merrill (Kimberley) Buckley of Boise, ID, Amy (Scott) Richards of Nibley, UT, Matthew (Julie) Buckley of Mt. Home, ID, Elizabeth Visser of Taylorsville, UT and Lamont (Alisha) Buckley of Ogden, UT; 34 grandchildren, 1 great granddaughter, 1 sister and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sweetheart, Bill Buckley, her parents, Merrill and LaDean Thornock, two brothers, Jerry and Mike, as well as grandparents and several aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws.
Due to the circumstances of the current world-wide pandemic, there will be a small family graveside service. We are asking friends and family who would like to pay their respects to drive past the graveside area from 1:30-2:30 pm on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Elysian Burial Gardens, (1075 E 4580 S, Millcreek, UT 84117). Enter from the South gate, take your first left and continue out through West gate. In her honor, feel free to attach something red or pink to your car. The cemetery has asked us to follow the Governor’s orders of social distancing, so please remain in your vehicles. As of now, we are planning a Celebration of Life on her birthday, August, 22nd 2020, when we will reconvene to honor her. Look for details on Facebook or contact a family member as the date approaches.
We are sorry for your families loss of such a fantastic woman. Bonnie was kind, loving and generous. With sincere and loving thoughts, the Bowdens.