Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Bonnie Jean Smolik, 82

Bonnie Jean Smolik, age 82, passed away peacefully with her devoted husband by her side on January 19, 2024, at their home in Bozeman, MT.

Bonnie was born October 19, 1941, in Winner, South Dakota to Martha and Rudy Paseka. Her early years of education were in a rural school near Wood, South Dakota and she graduated from high school in Hill City, South Dakota. She went on to attend the National College of Business in Rapid City where she earned an accounting degree.

While working for the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, she met the love of her life, Jim Smolik. They were married in 1962 and went on to enjoy 61 years of marriage. Their life together involved many family moves including communities in California, Utah, Idaho, Nevada (twice), Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, British Columbia, and Washington. A winter home in Arizona and a current residence in Montana completed the circuit tour.

In each community, Bonnie enjoyed and easily developed new friendships wherever she went and valued maintaining a connection with her friends through organizing events and clubs, such as the large gourmet dinner club in Whitehall, Montana. Through the many transitions, she raised her family of two sons (Steve and Greg) and supported her husband by keeping the various homes in order and providing great meals for Jim's business associates from the US, Canada, South America, and Australia. These dinner guests and their families frequently turned into lifelong friends of the Smoliks and they formed especially close relationships with friends in Canada, Chile, Montana, and Washington.

Bonnie had many talents. From her beautiful paintings to intricate crafts and beadwork, she shared her gifts with friends and loved ones. Bonnie also enjoyed (and excelled) in playing bridge and Mahjong. Those who played with her noted her self-imposed challenge of completing all the annual Mahjong card plays each year. She had a special love for birds, especially hummingbirds, and for the ocean. Anyone who visited her in Washington was invited to take part in collecting seashells and sea glass. For many years she was accompanied on these oceanside adventures by her beloved Cairn Terrier dog, Spicy.

Bonnie was a loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She adapted to challenges faced by the family, including the life-changing accident and disability suffered by their son Steve. Bonnie then modified and designed the homes in British Columbia and Washington to accommodate a severely handicapped individual under her care. She will be remembered for her patience, her wit, and her sense of humor, and most of all for the love she extended to her family. Bonnie's life was full of activities, time with loved ones, and devotion to her deep religious feelings through membership in Presbyterian, Methodist, and Lutheran churches in various communities.

Thankful to have shared in her life are her husband, Jim Smolik; sons Steve and Greg (Shelly); sister Marcene Bunge; grandchildren Shantelle (Tryston), Kira, and Natalie; and many nieces and nephews. Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents, Martha and Rudy Paseka, by an infant brother, sister Charleen Pritzkau, and two brother-in-laws, Francis Pritzkau and Merle Bunge.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Bonnie's name to your choice of charities benefiting needy children or to Love INC of the Black Hills in South Dakota.

A visitation will be at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City, South Dakota from 5-7 PM on Friday, February 9, 2024. Her funeral service will be at 10 AM on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at Zion Lutheran Church. Interment will follow at Pine Lawn Memorial Park.


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