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.