Bonnie Lyn Wilkins, a native of Atascadero, passed away July 7, 2019, peacefully at her home with her family at her side. She was 83 years old, born at the Atascadero Hospital on Nov. 19, 1935, and raised on the Historic Eagle Ranch.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents Meredith and Luceille Gates. She is survived by her husband Bob of 67 years, and her four children, Kerrie McNerlin (Tom) of Idaho, Joyce Wilkins (Gary) of Atascadero, Jim Wilkins of Creston and Jane Hilty (Bob) of Santa Barbara. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Renae, Valarie, Richard, Ashley, Riley, Lisa, Jeff and Markee. The above mentioned have produced 12 great-grandchildren. Bonnie is also survived by her two sisters, Jean Mosinski of Paso Robles and Susan Denison and her husband Norm of Anchorage, Alaska, and many nieces and nephews.
Bonnie was a Charter Member of Atascadero Quota and quite active in the organization. She was honored as Quotarian Of The Year 1989-1990. She served as a board member of the Women’s Shelter. She enjoyed RVing with Elks Roadrunners. With her love of art, she belonged to the Atascadero Art Association and Cayucos Art Association and Gallery. Bonnie and her husband Bob were Colony Days Royalty in 2003. Bonnie was the City of Atascadero’s First Lady when her husband was elected to the first City Council and his peers elected him as the city's first Mayor.
After her family was raised, she took art lessons from friend Ellie Highland. She enjoyed oil painting and watercolors. Her sketchbooks from her travels were filled with bright colors as she viewed the fall colors, old weathered barns and rural settings. Bonnie participated in the Cattlemen’s Western Art Show for several years. Her oil paintings and watercolors are hanging in many homes across the country. She received encouragement from artists Mark Greenaway, Larry Bees, Libby Tolly and Tom Lynch. She developed a line of note cards with over 60 colorful designs. She had representatives across the country marketing her cards.
Nine members of Bonnie’s graduating class of 1953 from Atascadero High School meet monthly for lunch. They are the ’53 Gals. They have been meeting for lunch for over 20 years.
A Celebration of Bonnie’s Life will be held Aug. 24, 2019, at the Atascadero Elks Lodge, 1516 El Camino Real, Atascadero at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wilshire Hospice, 277 South St., Suite R, San Luis Obispo, CA 9340l, Attn: Thomas or to the Alzheimer's Association at 71 Zaca Lane, Suite 110, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.