Bonnie Lee Hurwood, age 79, passed away peacefully on Nov. 16, 2020, in Vancouver, Wash., after a decade-long battle with dementia.
Born in San Mateo, Calif.,
Bonnie received a full-ride
scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music upon
graduation from Capuchino High School in 1959. Although she left the Conservatory to get married and start a family, she still became a prominent working musician. As a mezzo soprano, she juggled home life with performances,
singing background in films at MGM, including “Funny Girl,” “Camelot” and “Finian’s Rainbow.” She sang all across the country, performing with the Roger
Wagner Chorale. She sang backup for Beverly Sills in 1971 at the
Hollywood Bowl, became friends with Academy Award-winning composer Johnny Green, and
participated in a host of other performances in the 1960s and ’70s.
She was very proud of her singing career, but her primary focus was always her family. By 1980 she had left her professional singing career behind. She not only took care of her children, but also took care of her elders and her extended family through many difficult times. She worked as a secretary and lived the majority of her life in Pacifica, Calif., where she was very active in her church community at St. Andrew Presbyterian. There she sang in the choir and delighted the congregation with many holiday solo performances.
She also performed regularly in local plays and musicals, especially those written by her dear friend Roberta Ewald. Roberta wrote about her life as a Swedish immigrant and about Pacifica history. In the early 2000s Bonnie retired to the Pacific Northwest before her memory began to decline.
A fourth-generation Californian, Bonnie is survived by her son, Matthew, his wife, Laura, and their daughter, Taylor; and by her daughter, Rebecca, her husband, Brian, and their children Ashur and Boudica.
Bonnie had a strong Christian faith and lived a life of service to those in need. She changed many lives with her love and care and will be forever missed. Her dementia robbed her of her voice, and those that knew her best are soothed by the fact that now she can sing again in Heaven.