Bonnie Jean Roleau, 61, of Lincoln
LINCOLN — Bonnie Jean Roleau, 61, passed peacefully after a brief illness on May 23, 2020, to be with the Lord and her mom. She was surrounded by her family.
Bonnie was born in Patterson, N.J., on July 6, 1958. She grew up on a horse farm in Mahwah, N.J. The daughter of Roy and Ronnie (Hodge) Artsma, she is survived by William (Bill), her husband of 36 years; sons Ethan of Portland, Maine and Trent and wife Abby (Scholton) of Bristol, Vt.; sisters Judy McDonald of White River Junction, Vt., and Jamie Prouetto of Burlington, Vt.; 11 nieces and nephews, and four grandchildren (by Trent & Abby) — Sophia, Kennett, Bradley, and Levi — who made her heart melt every time she saw them.
After graduating from high school in 1976, she worked on Arabian Horse Farms in the Delaware-Pennsylvania area before moving to Vermont in 1979 and marrying Bill in 1984. She and Bill operated Isham Brook Farm, where they raised and showed Belgian horses, and raised beef cows and pigs. One of her joys was harvesting potatoes because it was like “digging for gold.”
Addison County Fair and Field Days benefitted from her energy every August when she and Bill “co-directed” the Antique area. Bonnie looked over and organized the main barn to be sure the displays were different every year. Known by many at the fairs they attended as “Ma,” she always made fellow fairgoers feel welcomed and fed.
For over 30 years, Bonnie and Bill (with sons helping) hitched their horses to pull the Bristol Coach, carrying the Grand Marshal in the Annual Fourth of July Parade in Bristol. You could not miss her behind the coach — shovel in hand, having the important job of “pooper-scooper” — a job she would not give up, even on the hottest days.
Bonnie was also a receptionist at Daly Dental in the Marble Works Complex in Middlebury for 36 years, where her infectious smile and laughter could not be missed. Her love to interact with patients was obvious.
The family has set up a gofundme account to create an annual 4-H scholarship in her name. Donations can be made to gofundme.com/f/bonnie-roleau-memorial-fund.
Bonnie was a member of the United Church of Lincoln. A celebration of her life will take place, if possible, in the fall.◊
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