Bonnie R. Hites, 80, of Bloomington, died on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. She was recovering from Covid and pneumonia, but her death was sudden.
Bonnie was born in Cadillac, Michigan on January 8, 1943, to Oscar and Marian (Zellmer) Carlson. The family soon included a younger brother, Ozzie, and two sisters, Sandy and Chris. They all moved to Caro, Michigan in 1947.
During high school, Bonnie became a Red Cross Certified Water Safety Instructor and a Scuba diver, through the Saginaw YMCA. She worked summers at the Caro community swimming pool. She was a popular lifeguard there and gave swimming lessons to many. She was a life-long athlete, eventually focusing on tennis and skiing.
Bonnie graduated from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, with a degree in engineering. While there, she worked as an assistant in the chemistry laboratory supply room. Occasionally, Ron Hites would step up to the window and ask for a flask or a chemical and engage her in banter about the length of her skirt or some other nonsense. Soon, they were dating, and they got married on December 26, 1964. At that time, Ron was a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), so they moved into a fourth floor, furnished, walk-up apartment in Boston. Soon, Bonnie landed a job at MIT’s nuclear reactor, where she worked until 1968.
Bonnie and Ron spent the next year in Peoria, Illinois, where their first daughter, Veronica, was born. In 1969, the three of them moved back to the Boston area, where Ron was on the staff of MIT. The twins, Kari and David (no they are not identical), were born in 1970. At this point, Bonnie was a full-time mom, but she found the time to be an active member of the Mothers of Twins club. She was also an accomplished seamstress – one Easter she made matching outfits for all three children and herself – and hostess.
Once all the children were in school, Bonnie took up tennis in a big way – even attending Harvard one summer to study the game. In 1979, the family moved to Bloomington, where Bonnie got a job in Indiana University’s Department of Chemistry, but she still managed to play a lot of tennis. Later, she moved to IU’s university-wide computer support division, where she stayed until her retirement in 2005.
Bonnie was an avid member of the Brown County Walking Women and went with them on hikes all over the country – even once to England. Together with Ron, she traveled widely throughout Europe and later, on cruises all over the world. Her last cruise was a three-week event starting in the United Arab Emirates and ending in Rome.
Bonnie is survived by her husband of 57 years, Ron, her daughters Veronica and Kari (Mahoney), her son David, her daughter-in-law Ellen, her son-in law Steve, and her two grandsons, Ben Hites and Gavin Mahoney.
Since Bonnie loved to walk in the woods, in lieu of flowers, she would have suggested everyone go for a hike. A celebration of her life will be held in July.