Bonnie Jean Woodford died peacefully at home on July 6, 2018. Bonnie was born February 1, 1944, in Winona, MN, to Ervin Clarence Bublitz and Alone Garwell Bublitz. Bonnie's father was co-owner of the Out-Door-Store, where farmers and duck-hunters came to buy Red Wing boots, bib overalls, and camouflage coats, and where Bonnie enjoyed helping her dad. Her mother was a stay-at-home mom who set the stage for her daughter to love cooking. Bonnie's two brothers (Ervie and Rob—who were still living at home) took her and her sister Sally out on the Mississippi River to fish, explore sandbars, waterski, and create lifelong memories.
Bonnie was a conscientious student and graduated from Winona Senior High School in 1962 and then attended Kahler School of Nursing. She married Donald Eugene Heroff of Rochester, MN in 1966. They had two sons and settled into life in Eyota, MN. She enjoyed being a housewife and a stay-at-home mother to Don and Greg. The family relocated to Pullman, WA, in 1979.
Bonnie and Don's marriage ended in 1988. Bonnie then returned to Minnesota and married her high school sweetheart Roland Woodford of Minnesota City, MN. She began working at the Occupational Rehabilitation Center, working with disabled adults, then later as a teaching assistant in the Winona Public Schools. Bonnie had a real gift for helping students learn practical life skills. She shadowed students as they worked in a number of local Winona businesses and coached “her kids” in academics in the classroom. Bonnie loved working with special needs children.
One of the things close friends and family will remember is Bonnie's deep commitment to Christianity. She studied the Bible daily, attended church, and did her utmost to live by Biblical teachings. Her two other passions were gardening and animals. She loved growing flowers and vegetables outdoors in the warmer months. And if anyone earned the title of “dog whisperer” it was Bonnie. She had great canine companions over the years, beginning with schnauzers and ending with a very large black lab mix named Baxter. On many a day, Bonnie could be seen on Prairie Island, at ShopKo, or at Bartlett Lake walking her beloved dog.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents, Ervin and Alone, and by her brothers John, Billy, Rob, and Ervie. She is survived by her husband, Roland Woodford; by her son Don Heroff (Camila) of Pullman, WA; by her son Greg Heroff (Hisami) of Singapore; by her grandchildren Madie, Sarah, Akari, Kai, and Kazuki; by her sister Sally Hanner (Lester) of Madison, WI; her sister-in-law Sally Bublitz of Winona; her sister-in-law Elizabeth Bublitz of Phoenix, AZ; and by her stepson Chad Woodford of Chicago. She is also survived by her beloved cat, Lily. Special thanks to Terry Gray, friend who drove Bonnie to many of her medical appointments in La Crosse, and to everyone who supported her these past 10 months. We will all miss her.
LOVE TRANSCENDS DEATH
Visitation will be held from 10 AM until the funeral service at 11 AM on Thursday, July 12, 2018, at Faith Lutheran Church in Winona. The Reverend Jeff Franko will officiate. A family burial will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona at a later date.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Bonnie’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.