Bonnie Bowers Wemyss-Koch, 77, of Woodstock, GA, formerly of Brookfield, WI passed away after a courageous battle with breast cancer on April 18, 2019. Bonnie was born to the late Raymond A. Bowers and Verna Lee Mather on July 21, 1941.
Bonnie was born and raised in Princeton, NJ and attended Princeton High School (class of 1959) where she was active in the high school band and a drum majorette. She then went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Miami of Ohio University in Education and later while as a working mother, earned her master's degree in early childhood education from Cardinal Stritch University.
After college she moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and began her career as a high school teacher at Brown Deer High School. She taught for several years before starting a family and raising her children full time. Since early childhood education was a passion of hers, she reentered the workforce and was a pioneer in starting day care centers for working mothers. Her first program was at her local church called Mother's Day Out, a first if its kind in the area. She took this experience to the next level and eventually became an Associate Dean at Milwaukee Area Technical College developing and building a day care center program for student parents. She spent her career working with young children and being an advocate for working mothers.
She entered her retirement years fortunate enough to tap into her other passion: horses. She earned numerous accolades as both a rider of three-gaited pleasure horses and driver of pleasure carriages including an American Saddlebred National Championship and several other notable placements. Watching her ride was one of our true pleasures in life. She was very active in her grandchildren's lives always interested in what they were doing and willing to offer her hard-earned sage advice. Watching them grow and learn gave her great joy. Bonnie loved playing bridge, reading books, and completing puzzles. She was intent on giving back to her community and gave her time to several organizations including The Wellstar Foundation, Woodstock Community Church, Woodstock Police and Fire, and served in leadership roles in the community of Towne Lake.
Bonnie is remembered by her loving husband of 30 years, Robert H. Koch, Jr.; children, Michael Wemyss (Robbin) of Woodstock, GA, Margaret Vierling (Stephen) of Mequon, WI, and Lewis Wemyss (Christine) of Newport Beach, CA; step-daughters Debra Davison (Barry), Dawn Hayes (Jerry), and Denise Koch-Vargo (Marc); siblings, Sally Henry, Julia Coale (Joe), and Lewis Bowers (Susan); 13 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
A service to celebrate Bonnie's life will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 11:00 am in the chapel of Woodstock Funeral Home (8855 Main St). A reception will follow directly after the service in the small park at McAfee Street and Wheeler Street in downtown Woodstock, near Bonnie and Bob's home. Bonnie requested that this be a time of joy and in her honor please wear something colorful and bright. In lieu of flowers, donations to Bonnie's memory to Heroes on Horseback (www.heroesonhorseback.org) are appreciated.