Farewell to Bonnie
When I first journeyed to Japan in the 1970s for training in what would become my life work, and throughout the first ten years of my return and subsequent teaching that began in the 1980s, my friends Bud and Bonnie Malmstrom were two of my most ardent supporters and dearest friends. Every seminar I presented in my old barn dojo back in those days, there was Bud and most of the time there was Bonnie.
Bonnie went on to organize and present the massively-attended Atlanta TaiKai training conventions for Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. It is humbling to say that in spite of all the attention that was necessary for overseeing the huge crowds of people who would attend, Bonnie never failed to treat Rumiko and me as her very special guests. I will never forget her happiness and warmth and generosity and her never-ceasing commitment to making all those around her so welcome and part of her great heart.
Later developments in all our lives created years where we did not get to spend as much time with Bonnie as we might have wished. New careers and new visions and new commitments evolved and pulled us all down divergent roads. My new friends in the greater To-Shin Do network that has grown up in the past ten years did not get to know Bonnie, did not get to know this lady who once carried the affectionate title of “everybody’s American Bujinkan Mom”.
What a sweetheart she was. Rumiko and I join so many friends in extending our condolences to Bonnie’s family at this time of great loss.
i only recently found this blog dedicated to the memory of bonnie , she was such a generous soul as is bud. i was still living ing richmond virginia when i met bonnie and bud together for the first time in roanoke at a seminar hosted by jeff duncan, when i met my wife i found she had some of the soulmate properties that bud and bonnie shared.when bonnie looked at bud she glowed with love. i witnessed this again when i came to atlanta briefly in the early 1990s.she and bud welcomed me into thier bujinkan dojo home, not knowing that my own family matters would draw me back to richmond, va. by the end of the year and the hardships i faced while living in stone mountain. i still held my heart open that i might one day return to enjoy thier company again. but alast i suffered a stroke on dec,10th 2006 that has left me hemiplegic(paralyzed on my left side since, the stroke)
your friend always ,
I too only just found this blog, and feel I must at the least, send out my sorrow for all of our loss with Bonnie. I too moved to Atlanta in the early 90’s, and though I had followed the Ninja for many years prior, Bud and Bonnie were my first “In Dojo” teachers. What I learned in my short time at the Atlanta Bujinkan Dojo cannot compare to all my studies, and I believe the reason is the life-long dedication to what they did, and hopefully still do. No words can describe the feelings and the motivation they gave me. I feel somewhat ashamed, now, thinking that it was just this week I learned of this, when I should have at the very least written once a year to show my gratitude.