Bowling Green – May 25, 1932 – Feb. 8, 2020 Bonnie Knight Graves, 87, of Bowling Green, Ky., died Saturday, Feb. 8 at home. Bonnie – daughter, sister, mother, ex-wife, aunt, teacher and musician – was born to Albert Avery (“Shorty”) Knight and Lona Mae (Capps) Knight on May 25, 1932, in Moberly, Mo, and grew up in Carthage, Ill., graduating from Carthage High School in 1950 and Carthage College in 1954.
She married Ted Graves in June 1954, and after the Annapolis graduate transferred to the U.S. Air Force, they began a 20-year journey living in Japan and on many military bases in the United States. Their marriage welcomed six beautiful children: Mark Leslie, Audrey Diane, Paul Allen, Phillip Todd, Penny JoAnn, and Jennifer Julean.
She is survived by all six children, plus numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nephews.
Bonnie started playing piano and organ for church services at age 16 in Carthage and continued at every military base and town where she lived until last year at a small Methodist church in Kentucky. Among her other appearances were performances with the Springfield (Ohio) Community Players’ productions of the “Il Trovatore” and “Pirates of Penzance” operas.
A former teacher of voice, piano and musical theater at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash.; Bonnie loved to teach in the arts and in 1985 earned a master’s degree from New York University. She chaired the Arts Commission in Federal Way, Wash., and was the Red Cross Arts Director for Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., where she helped with the Wounded Warrior Project.
After her family was grown, she enjoyed traveling abroad to teach English, and she served in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Global Volunteers, Cross-Cultural Solutions, and the Civil Air Patrol in Bowling Green.
She has been cremated and a memorial service for family and friends is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17 at Living Hope Chapel, 1805 Westen St. in Bowling Green.
Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Peace Corps.