Bonnie Lynn Pelland, beloved daughter of Anita (Rondeau) Pelland and Ernest L Pelland, died peacefully early Sunday morning, July 30, 2023, at Care One of Northampton, under the palliative care of Hospice, the close attention of Care One staff, and the pastoral presence and support of her St. Philip’s Episcopal Church community. She had been diagnosed less than a month earlier with metastatic cancer.
Bonnie was born November 13, 1967, in Northampton and graduated from Easthampton High School. She continued living with her parents, and provided exceptional childcare in their home and surroundings to a succession of very appreciative families and adoring children. Two years after her mother died, Bonnie suffered a stroke at age 42, and while she was in rehab, her father died unexpectedly. Although permanently disabled by her stroke, Bonnie recovered sufficiently to live independently in a small apartment, with the help of her PCA and friend since high school, Mary Ann Kortes, her daughter Miranda, church friends, and a nearby relative, Marilyn Holt.
At St. Philip’s, Bonnie was able to continue to assist with the care of infants and toddlers in the church’s nursery during church services, and oversaw the church’s greeting card ministry. She assisted cashiers at All 4 Her Sales, scheduled Coffee Hour hosts, called to invite donations for church suppers and other church events, and served a term on the church’s Vestry. During and since the pandemic, she faithfully attended St Philip’s livestreamed Sunday morning services and Compline services every evening on Facebook.
At home, Bonnie listened and contributed daily to the nationally syndicated radio show, Bobby Bones, and made many friends, as apparent in this tweet, after her death, from the show’s producers (and from hundreds of listeners’ responses to it): “Rest in peace to our listener Bonnie. She passed away from cancer. She always interacted with the show on socials, and was a bright light while doing so. We will miss her kindness.” Bonnie also took great joy in joining country music rising star Chris Moreno’s online fan club, and finally got to meet Chris and see him perform in person this past March, when friend and fellow fan Miranda drove her to Foxboro. At that concert, he performed the song Bonnie predicted would be, and became, his fans’ #1 favorite, as a shout out to her as his #1 fan. While hospitalized, Bonnie received several messages from Chris and a video of him performing his newest song, to which she was able to respond enthusiastically.
Bonnie kept in close touch with beloved relatives and distant friends. Relatives: her “Uncle Butch” Pelland, his wife Jean and their daughters, Tanya and Tammy in Texas; her cousin Jimmy Laflamme, with wife Peg and daughter Tina in Florence; her cousin Michelle Boisvert in Lowell, MA; and “Aunt Marilyn” Holt in Southampton. Distant friends: Holly Zamzow in California; Laura Slater, a host and cancer surviver at the Bobby Bones Show, in Nashville, TN; and Vicki Taylor, Bonnie’s “Twitter bestie” from the show, in Texas.
Thanks be to God for all the ways they were all a blessing to Bonnie, and for all the ways Bonnie blessed their lives, and the lives of all who knew her, as she continually expressed her appreciation for their care, love, kindness, talents, and friendship. Included in her appreciation were all the nurses and other medical and support staff at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, who provided exceptional care and compassion throughout her stays there on North 3 and West 2. Ever grateful family and friends salute them and send heartfelt thanks!
To celebrate Bonnie’s life, The Reverend Michael Anderson Bullock will lead a graveside committal service on Wednesday, August 9, at 1:30 pm, at Spring Grove Cemetery in Florence, where Bonnie’s cremains will be buried next to her parents, followed, at 3 pm, by a Requiem Eucharist at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Easthampton. All are invited to a reception in St. Philip’s Parish Hall following the service. Boucher – O’Brien Funeral Home in Easthampton is assisting.
Gifts in memory of Bonnie may be made to St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 128 Main St, Easthampton, MA 01027, in support of the church’s weekend food insecurity ministries: Take & Eat (specially prepared and delivered weekend meals for adults in Easthampton and surrounding communities), and Pioneer Valley Power Packs (supplemental weekend food packs delivered to Mountain View School and Smith Vocational School each week during the school year for students in need).
You are invited to post condolence messages on this website for Bonnie’s family and friends, for them to read.