Bonnie Gail Steele

May 7, 1942 - January 27, 2024

Bonnie Gail Steele, age 81, died peacefully at home on January 27, 2024 in the company of her loving family after a year long battle with cancer. Bonnie was born May 7, 1942, in Boston, MA to Phillip and Helen Steele.

After graduating high school in New London, CT, Bonnie attended the University of Connecticut and graduated with a degree in nursing in 1968. Bonnie moved to Los Angeles, CA shortly thereafter where she obtained a master’s degree and was a professor at UCLA School of Nursing. She later worked as an ICU nurse at Los Angeles County Hospital.

Bonnie married Carl Palmer on December 22, 1974. Bonnie along with her husband and children moved to Seattle, WA in 1984 where she attended the University of Washington School of Nursing PhD program. Upon graduation, Bonnie worked at the VA Puget Sound Hospital as a nurse practitioner, pulmonary specialist, and researcher. Her career at the VA spanned 20 plus years, where she worked tirelessly to improve the lives of veterans, while forging long lasting professional and personal relationships with her colleagues and patients.

Bonnie loved knitting and sewing. Among friends, she was well known for the elaborate costumes she made for her young sons at Halloween along with other intricate articles of clothing and a full-size Buddy doll which is still in the family today. Bonnie was an avid lover of classical music. She loved listening to 98.1 Classic King FM and playing on her baby grand Kimball piano. She also sang with Seattle Pro Musica for many years. In addition to her sewing, knitting and love of music, she and was an active member of the Northwest Fly Anglers. She loved to get out onto the open rivers of Washington to catch and release.

In retirement, one of Bonnie’s many passions was serving as a Seattle Aquarium Beach Naturalist talking with beach goers at low tide. She also volunteered yearly at the Cedar River Salmon Journey and was a volunteer at the RotaCare Free Health Clinic in Lake City. Bonnie was an active member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Connecticut and enjoyed her monthly book club with friends, her women’s group and her New York Times discussion group.

Bonnie’s greatest joy was her grandchildren; she played an active role in their everyday lives. She loved watching their baseball games, listening to them play the guitar and teaching them how to make her famous pumpkin pie. Her amazing pie crusts will remain a secret family recipe. Bonnie also loved to take walks in her neighborhood with her trusty companion, an 80 lb. yellow lab named Padme.

Bonnie was preceded in death by husband, Carl Palmer who passed in 2011, her parents and brother Phillip. Bonnie is survived by her two children Andrew and Jesse Palmer, her daughter-in-law, Michelle Palmer, stepson Blaine Palmer and grandsons Aden and Donovan Palmer.

Bonnie exemplified a life well lived till the very end. In her career, her many hobbies, and volunteer work, she touched many lives in a meaningful and heartfelt way. She will be truly missed.

Services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Sierra Club an organization Bonnie felt strongly about.


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