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Resident Spotlight: Bonnie T.

Independent Living resident enjoying ice cream outdoors at Kensington Park.Bonnie was the fourth of five children to English-born parents. Her father, a trained minister, answered an ad for a position in rural Nebraska. Knowing no one, with only $25.00 in his pocket, his wife in hand, he ventured to the Midwest to begin a new life and family.

Bonnie and her siblings didn’t have much, but they had what they needed, got a good education and were loved. After high school, Bonnie went to work for the Army as a secretary in New Orleans where her older sister lived. She saved money to pay for college at Tulane University, then transferred to DePauw University in Indiana, declaring psychology as her major. It was at DePauw that she met Forrest T., a fellow psychology major. They graduated together and were married by Bonnie’s father, in Pawnee City, Nebraska and honeymooned in a cabin in Wisconsin.

The newlyweds moved to Columbus, Ohio to attend graduate school at Ohio State. Timing took a wild turn as Bonnie finished her final exam in the hospital – right before delivering her first child, Tom. The family moved to Carbondale, Illinois and Bonnie earned her degree from Ohio State. Soon after, they added two more children to the family, Ted and Beth.

The family then moved to a quiet, little, old fashioned town, outside of Washington, D.C.: Garrett Park.

When she started her career, Bonnie taught psychology at Montgomery College, later transferring to The University of Maryland (Go Terps!), where she then taught for 18 years. Upon retirement from UMD, Bonnie went on to work with children at the Rockville Child Center & Adult Services for another 20 years. It was during these years that Bonnie knew her next chapter would be at Kensington Park.

When asked what was one of her life’s lessons, Bonnie shared, “you can overcome anything from your childhood or adulthood if you try.” Bonnie certainly has helped many folks over the years through her teaching, listening, hugging and her smile.