This year Donate Life California is continuing its tradition of sponsoring a floragraph on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float by honoring Bonnie Walker of El Cajon, California as an organ & tissue donor. On January 1st, 2018 during the 129th Rose Parade, Bonnie Walker will be one of 44 donors honored on the Donate Life float, The Gift of Time.
Born Bonnie Lee Kleindolph on February 6, 1940, in Muscatine, Iowa. She spent part of her childhood growing up in Iowa and part in Tucumcari, New Mexico. After high school, she enlisted in the United States Navy and was placed at the Dental Office at the Naval Station in San Diego.
In 1961, she married Robert Walker. At this time Bonnie left the Navy and they started their family. They spent a short time in Long Beach then settled down in El Cajon, California where they were married for 42 years and raised 5 children.
Her daughter Tanya McClain describes her more as “a very giving and unselfish parent who took great pride in being actively involved with all the school and extra-curricular activities us kids took part in.”
“Our mother loved to read and watch parades on TV. Every New Year’s Day we would watch the Rose Parade. The floats were her favorite and being on one would have ‘tickled her pink’ as she would say. ”
Bonnie was 63 when she passed away on June 1st, 2003 from cardiac arrest. She was able to donate her corneas which went to two different people. It’s wonderful that she was able to give the gift of sight to two precious recipients.
She is survived by her husband, Robert; 5 children, Tanya, Tammy, Sherina, Robert II and Kristina; brother, Roy; 4 grandchildren, Cody, Cole, Brianna and Tristan. Of course, now there are 3 more grandkids, Cheyenne, Connor and Emma and even 2 great grandkids, Zoe and Layla.
Each year Donate Life California honors a donor connected to the California Department of Motor Vehicles to say thank you for the support provided in registering organ and tissue donors around the state of California. In our eleven year partnership, we’ve been able to register over 14 million donors in the state of California. Tanya McClain, our honoree’s daughter, is the Manager of the San Clemente Field Office.
In October, Tanya and her son were able to decorate the Floragraph honoring her mother that will be included on this year’s float.
Kick off your new year right by joining Donate Life as we honor donors during the Rose Parade on January 1, 2018!