Bonnie Lee Clinton, 78, of Shakopee, Minn., passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at St. Gertrude’s in Shakopee.
Bonnie was born July 13, 1940, in Floyd County, Iowa, to Leslie and Lillian Elizabeth (Gilds) Russell. She was one of seven children. Bonnie’s family moved to Spring Park /Mound, Minn., where she graduated from Mound High School in 1959.
After high school, Bonnie worked for Tonka Corporation in Spring Park, building toy trucks and tractors. When Tonka Toys was planning to move the company to Canada she decided to stay in Minnesota and take up her dream of becoming a stewardess. She enrolled at McConnell Airline School for air hostess on Northwest Air Lines in Minneapolis. Bonnie worked in a soda fountain shop to pay her way through school. A young man named Earl went into the soda shop one day with some friends and spotted a beauty. Earl stopped in there several times in hopes to ask her out, but Bonnie would send others to wait on his table. He would even hang around late so he could offer her a ride home. It took a while, but she finally said, “Yes”, but only if her friend could get a ride also. After three months of dating, Earl knew she was the one and proposed. He wasn’t going to let this beauty get away. She said yes knowing she would need to give up her dream of becoming a stewardess since in the 1950s, flight attendants could not be engaged, married or expecting.
Bonnie Russell married Earl Clinton on Oct. 26, 1962, in a Methodist church in Navarre, Minn., and resided in Minnetonka. She became a homemaker when they had two daughters, Stephanie and Christine, and later moved their family to Shakopee.
Bonnie enjoyed puzzles, word books, shopping, dining out, day drives with her husband, her grandchildren and their families. She also enjoyed church, music, crafts, grabbing a snipping of a plant to see if she could grow it and ice skating. She would always reminisce about ice skating with her childhood friends and her siblings. As soon as Stephanie showed an interest, Bonnie would take her out on the ice and twirl and glide.
Bonnie is survived by her daughters, Stephanie (Dennis) Schroeder and Christine (Joseph) Dysterheft; granddaughters, Carissa (Kevin) Grohs, Jennifer (Kyle) Robb, Tara (Nicholas) Charpentier; great-grandchildren, Cadyn, Oaklynn, Arbor, Aspen, Salix and Maple; sisters, Joeldene Fredenburg, Barbara (George) Dronen; brother, Dwayne (Darleen) Russell; several nieces and nephews and her husband’s loving family, the Herbert and Laura Clinton family.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Earl Lee Clinton; parents, Leslie and Lillian Elizabeth Russell; sister, Beverly Drahos; brothers, Leslie Jr. Russell and Curtis Russell; sister and brother-in-law, Beverly Drahos, Robert Fredenburg and his daughter, Jackie Fredenburg; and several of Earl’s family members.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 2 p.m.
McNearney – Schmidt Funeral and Cremation, Shakopee, was in charge of the arrangements.