Survivor Stories / Tributes

Bonnie Row

Personal Description:

Dedication:

Bonnie Row 1948-2008

Personal Description:

My mom,
The strongest, bravest woman I know. My Hero!! She lived life to the FULLEST…right up until the end!! I will miss her always! I love you Mom!
Lori

Last updated on: 11/04/2008


Comments:

My sister and I always thought ‘Mom will definitely out-live us!”.
She was in better shape than most people 1/2 her age. She took better care of herself in every way (emotionally, spiritually and physically) than anyone I know. Although she never expected anyone to, it was difficult to live up to the high standards of such a legend! She had such strength and conviction in everything she did. She mastered all ventures. However driven, she was also understanding and willing to lend a hand to anyone who needed it.
She fought this cancer in every way possible! The strength and courage she showed up to the end, was so incredible! Everyone who knew her (including myself) loved, admired and respected her. I was amazed at the number of friends that came (from all over the world) to show support .
We lovingly nick-named her: “Th? Bonnie Row “
However…Now we have to wonder, (since this cancer was so random): Is there hope for any of us? Where in the world did it come from? How could something like this happen?

Renee Rivet – 10/30/2008

Bonnie was the most passionate, energetic person, so full of life and always ready for a new adventure. I couldn’t imagine anyone less likely to become ill! I told her if it got her, as healthy as she was, I might as well spend the rest of my life drinking wine and eating chocolate!
She was a dear friend whom I will miss very much. We’ve been throughso much together.

Connie Priddy – 10/30/2008

We did not have the pleasure of knowing Bonnie but we know her daughter – Lori- very well and she is a special, wonderful woman who we all care for a great deal. We now see more of the family picture as we learn of the amazing Bonnie Row. She positively glows in her photos and has touched so many with her special gifts. Our love goes out to Lori and her family. –David and all of us at CORE.

David Neale Core Builders – 10/30/2008

We did not have the pleasure of knowing Bonnie but we know her daughter – Lori- very well and she is a special, wonderful woman who we all care for a great deal. We now see more of the family picture as we learn of the amazing Bonnie Row. She positively glows in her photos and has touched so many with her special gifts. Our love goes out to Lori and her family. –David and all of us at CORE.

David Neale Core Builders – 10/30/2008

I am certain that Bonnie is swimming underwater in the most beautiful ocean somewhere without the hinderance of bulky diving gear.

Bonnie, you have touched our lives in a very positive way. I have always admired your free spirit and your love for the ocean. I’ll think of you whenever I, too, am playing and swimming in the ocean (that is our cathedral). I have recently bought a white Eurovan in your honor!

Love,

Leo Bersamina

Leo Bersamina – 10/30/2008

Bonnie will always keep a special place in our lives. She brought light to many and will continue to shine around the world.
Nous souhaitons a toute sa famille et ses amis de partager le courage, la volonte et la joie qu’elle apporta a tous pour de nombreuses annees a venir.
Nos plus sinceres condoleances.
A dieu et bon vent Bonnie!
Family Rivet

Family Rivet – 10/31/2008

Bonnie is so dear to me in so many ways. She is my best-friend’s mother and for that alone I am grateful. Lori and I have grown together and are daughters have grown up together as well. I remember Bonnie as an adventurer of life, loving the ocean, her boat, her daughters and her grandchildren. She lived passionately and fearlessly and is one of the strongest women I have ever had the honor of knowing. I love you Bonnie and will always remember you. Thank you for bringing Lori into the world for me!

Beth Risner – 10/31/2008

Had the privlege of diving with Bonnie in Belize and again at the Galapagos. What a great person to spend extensive time with. Never met someone so at home in the water. Such a beautiful lady inside and out!

Jim Quinn – 10/31/2008

Bonnie
you are to me & always will be Brave & Strong & Great Spirited and Loved so much..
I have lots of thoughts & memories of you that I will always reflect on, conversations we had that ment alot to me,I always remembered what you said because it helped me resolve some things that I would have never known had you shared some things with me…
You were an amazing woman with alot of life & a beautiful laugh & smile not to mention your soft spoken voice…When I spoke of you, I spoke of you as My Step Mother, that was how I looked at you, you were My step sister’s Mom, but hard to explain to friends that Our Mom’s were good friends, our Family was close..
You will be so missed Bonnie,I am thankful that You were with Lori on my Birthday & you both left me a message saying Happy Birthday, I kept that message,I’ve just knew I had to, I listened to it today, because it is your Birthday, and I hope you heard me as I wished you Happy Birthday today,with all my love & to you & your Beautiful daughter’s….
Love Loretta jean Bersamina

Loretta Bersamina – 10/31/2008

I had the pleasure of knowing Bonnie in a way probably few did. We dove and speared in several countries, and she always demonstrated such grace and poise, unless her sugar level dropped! Then watch out!!!
I learned to see it coming, and get food in her mouth quickly! She was a talented, passionate, loving woman, and I could talk with her as a man, with very little editing, which is highly unusual. My time with her will always be dear to me, and she will live in my heart forever. Swim deep sweet girl, until we meet again.
Big D

Dennis Haussler – 10/31/2008

Just hearing about the legandary life of Bonnie Row touches my heart and gives me inspiration down to the bone. I met Lori’s MaMa only one time about 6 months ago, with her vibrant attitude it is still hard for me to believe that cancer can over power such an alive soul. I know now that Bonnie you will live daily in the hearts of the many, many, people whose life you’ve touched by being you. I didn’t know you as well as others but, I feel your spirt within me. You lived an amazing life every moment of it. Say hello to God for me. I love you and your family.

Ursula Williams – 10/31/2008

Bonnie was an amazing woman. Truly strong and graceful. A mermaid through and through. I will always remember the Galapagos with her and my sister and friends. What an amazing trip. Bonnie was full of enthusiasm and life. I will miss you Bonnie, and see you freediving with your yak.

Sharon Smith – 11/01/2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!
LUV YOU!!! WISH YOU WERE HERE!!!

Lori Smith – 11/01/2008

Bonnie lived every moment of her life fully, gave it her all up to the last moment. As a yoga student and friend, I will always remember Bonnie and her zest for life: from going up in backbends or a handstand to blissing out in Sivasana (Relaxation); from our deepest conversations about life to celebrating with potent margaritas; hiking in the hills to jumping in the Pacific Ocean. One of my favorite images always will be seeing her sail Juanita with the wind blowing in her face and a smile that will be forever be in my heart.

Elise Miller – 11/03/2008

Bonnie lived every moment of her life fully, gave it her all up to the last moment. As a yoga student and friend, I will always remember Bonnie and her zest for life: from going up in backbends or a handstand to blissing out in Sivasana (Relaxation); from our deepest conversations about life to celebrating with potent margaritas; hiking in the hills to jumping in the Pacific Ocean. One of my favorite images always will be seeing her sail Juanita with the wind blowing in her face and a smile that will be forever in my heart.

Elise Miller – 11/03/2008

If I can make life better for just one person … something most of us try to achieve in our lifetime. Bonnie made life better for each person she met. Even the thought of her now brings a smile to my face and peacefulness in my heart. Her dignity, strength and bravery; her grace, dedication and love; her smile, her laugh and her passion to live life to the fullest are forever embedded in us, her friends and loved ones lucky enough to have had Bonnie in our lives. We miss you BonBon.

Mike and Beth Woyak – 11/03/2008

bonnie is definitely infecting whomever is in her company now with her personal “sunshining” aura that she carried!! I’m a BETTER person having for having been a part of her life here!!

jeff bruton – 11/04/2008

Bonnie, Bon-Bon, Bonnzie, saying your name brings a smile to my heart. Thank you for all the wonderful times, the great dives, the awesome adventures and the encouragement to keep going. I have been in awe of your zest, drive and talent since meeting you. Thanks for putting the “pink” and “estrogen” in freediving. You are missed.

Melody Cooper Gross – 11/06/2008

Bonnie was diagnosed with cancer just after she booked flights to my wedding in Australia. She had to cancel those flights, and her fight against cancer prevented her from visiting these shores again, alas. Now Bonnie has departed shortly before the birth of my first child. The cycle of life and death.

I loved Bonnie and have so many happy memories of time with her. Meeting her with John in Brisbane; meeting her again in Brisbane after John died, while she packed Juanita for the journey home; raucous Christmas Days with the Rows; the yoga retreat in Hawaii with Elise; sailing on San Francisco Bay with Pete; working up a sweat many times on the PG&E; numerous fantastic meals … and so much more.

I miss Bonnie and I am sad that my wife and future child will not meet her. They will sure hear all about her though.

Thank you for the memories BonBon.

Andrew Dickson – 11/07/2008

I have known bonnie since i was 20 years old.she was like a mother to me. I LOVE BONNIE VERY MUCH……….she will always be with me…i ask every day the sun comes up and the sky and beach are clear,think of bonnie,she loved a beautiful day…

art smith – 11/07/2008

I have known bonnie since i was 20 years old.she was like a mother to me. I LOVE BONNIE VERY MUCH……….she will always be with me…i ask every day the sun comes up and the sky and beach are clear,think of bonnie,she loved a beautiful day…

art smith – 11/07/2008

I will never forget the exact moment I first met Mi Mariposa (my little butterfly). I had invented an excuse to meet this wonderful voice on the phone who had been patiently coaching me on the subtleties of properly sanding and varnishing the teak on my boat. There I was waiting for her at Gate 11, Marina Village in Alameda, where Juanita is docked, when two women showed up carrying groceries for an evening dinner. The tall, athletic, golden eyed, spirited one on the left sent an electric shock through me from which I have still not recovered. I fell helplessly in love with this graceful and marvelous creature. From that one infinitesimal moment in time my life changed. Being with Mi Mariposa was not a choice, but an indelible part of a story written in some heavenly book.
During the short two and a half years we were together we hiked, we traveled to Alaska, we dove, we went to the gym, we partied, we sailed, we read quietly, we watched countless sunsets, we laughed and we cryed. I told her that I could be in the same room with her and watch paint dry and be one very content person. And that is how she affected most people. Everyone was a close friend.
I will always miss and love her. Right until her very last day she was making plans for the following week. She never gave up the fight and lived every day to the fullest. What an inspiration!

Happy!Happy!

Richard Foregger – 11/18/2008

Mom,
I REALLY miss you!!! I wish you were here for christmas!! It hurts so much not to be able to share stuff with you and get your input!!! luv you!!! i know your in heaven with the angels but I need my moms advice…..ALOT lately!!

Lori – 12/29/2008

I just received a shocking news about the passing of Bonnie Row. Bonnie and her friend were members of Wildlife. Bonnie attended several of our presentations involving underwater photography. I did not know Bonnie personally, but remembered her beautiful smile and great sense of humor. She loved the ocean and now is free to always experience the presence of the ocean. We will always remember you Bonnie!

Laurie

Laurie Cava-Smith – 01/11/2009

I did not know Bonnie but perhaps new John well if he was from Brisbane and died in San Francisco in 1995 / 6 . I would appreciate knowing .

regards,
norman

Norman Dowds – 04/11/2009

My email address is dowds3926@shaw.ca . Lori if your father is the John Row I knew in Australia many years ago , I would like to know .

regards,
norman

Norman Dowds – 04/11/2009

Bonnie was the first girl is kissed. I was 14 yrs. old and fell totally in love with her. We met at the beach near Seal Rocks called Kelly’s Cove in 1959. She had a grandfather we called “Bill the Fisherman” a cute old cuss with a mustache and knit cap. Bonnie was like a mermaid that had washed in from the sea. She was incredibly beautiful. We were the only young kids hanging at Ocean Beach. It was the lure of the Sea which really called us. There were a few older surfers and Carol Shultz & Tambi & Eddie Tavasievff hanging out in the “Corner” rocks. Bonnie and I discovered each other in a wonderious natural world that doesn’t exist any more. The ocean water was clear and filled with fish. The rocks covered with dense mussel beds home to many creatures. It was a clean Spring with salty winds blowing out of the NW and beach fires. We would go up into Sutro Park in the afternoon and “make out” which I thought was the greatest thing ever invented. It didn’t last long, our romance, she took off with some older guy. I was just a little skinny kid but to this day I remember those moments like they happened yesterday. I ran into Bonnie several times later throughout our lives and she always impressed me as a great woman of the Sea. Our lives went off in different directions but it seems we always were close to the Sea we loved.
All will miss her… Aloha Bonnie !

Glenn Schot – 04/30/2010

Life is short, and this aritcle saved valuable time on this Earth.

Bobbe Bobbe – 07/13/2011

To the family and friends of Bonnie Row, I knew Bonnie from the beach in San Francisco – Kelly’s Cove. Bonnie was five years older than I, but I remember her as this friendly caring young lady who fit into the natural environment of the ocean so well. She was like an older sister to me and taught me to body surf and was just a good person to be around. Well we all grew up and went our separate paths, I always had this good memory of Bonnie and even named my first daughter Bonnie. I have just found out about Bonnie and all of her wonderful connections to the sea. My Bonnie is an ocean lover and spends much time surfing here in Santa Cruz. There is another connection I have with Bonnie R. and that is I am an ovarian cancer survivor since 1/2004. Have been fortunate so far and have just recently experienced my first recurrence, so now dealing with more chemo and all of that and hoping to have another long remission. I will take some courage and strength from my old friend in staying active and getting into the ocean this summer. You have said it the way I feel, this is a random illness without many answers as to the cause or why could such a healthy person in so many ways get hit with this? I am looking for answers right now and a lot of hope to stay on top of this. There are some new drugs being used and more research. Bonnie and I must had had a greater connection than we ever imagined. She was the ultimate picture of health and beauty, so hard to believe. Staying strong and believing in the cure.

Molly O’Keeffe-Salter – 05/08/2012