Bonnie Colyer

Bonnie Catherine (Black) Colyer, 92, of Bruneau, passed away peacefully from natural causes on February 1, 2019. She was at home and surrounded by her loving family. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, February 10, at 2:00 pm at the American Legion Hall in Bruneau, with graveside services following at the Bruneau Cemetery. Arrangements are under the care of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel.

Bonnie Black was born on February 19, 1926 in Mountain Home, to Errol & Anna Black. Bonnie was the great granddaughter of early Bruneau pioneers, who settled in the valley in 1876. She grew up on the family ranch in Bruneau with her brothers, John & Jim Black. She graduated in 1944 from Bruneau High School. After graduation, she worked at the Jones Store in Bruneau and soon after, a handsome young cowboy from Three Creek named Ray Colyer stole her heart. Much to her father’s chagrin, she eloped with Ray to Elko, Nevada as they desperately wanted to get married before Ray was shipped to Japan during WWII. The spontaneous trip was full of complications, such as their car breaking down and their hotel burning to the ground, but through persistence, Bonnie & Ray were married on June 25, 1945. After the war ended, Ray returned home the end of 1946. During that time, they lived at House Creek, near Three Creek, while Ray was working for the Hawes family. In September of 1947, their daughter, Catherine Rae was born. In 1949, they moved back to Bruneau and began ranching with Bonnie’s family. They added a son, James Guy, in 1950. Through years of hard work and dedication, Colyer Cattle Company was created and became the foundation of the ranch that grew and evolved into what it is today. She looked forward each year to visiting with everyone at their annual bull & heifer sales. Bonnie remained on the ranch in Bruneau for her entire life.

Bonnie was a member of the Rebekah Lodge, a lifetime member of the Bruneau Legion Auxiliary, serving as secretary for many years. She was chairman of the Bruneau-Grand View School District Board during the time the elementary schools were built. She also served as secretary of the Bruneau Buckaroo Ditch Company for many years. In 2013, Bonnie was honored to be the Grand Marshall of the Bruneau Rodeo. At the age of 90, Bonnie received her Concealed Weapons Permit.

In her spare time, she enjoyed sewing satin pillowcases and cowboy scarves for family and friends. She was a talented seamstress and had made everything from prom dresses to leather chaps. One of Bonnie’s favorite pastimes was gambling, and she was always up for a trip to Jackpot, Elko, or Reno. Most often, she returned home “a winner”.

One of Bonnie’s greatest accomplishments was writing her autobiography titled “Shoo-Fly & Alkali”, which was published in 2013. She had kept a journal for over seventy years, so she had plenty of information to draw from. Over the last five years, Bonnie enjoyed doing book signings, and had personally signed over a thousand books.

Bonnie is survived by her husband, Raymond Colyer, her daughter Catherine Sellman (Chet), her son, Guy Colyer (Sherry), five grandchildren- Carla Sellman Carley, Crista Sellman-Jones (Destry), Chad Sellman (Kelly), Kyle Colyer (Bobby-Jean), Katie Colyer, and seven great-grandchildren- Emma Carley, Grayson Carley, Piper Colyer, Cruz Colyer, Dashen Jones, Addison Sellman, & Lola Jones, and nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was expecting her 8th great-grandchild in early May. She was preceded in death by her two brothers, John & Jim Black and her grandson, Robert John Sellman.

Donations may be made to one of the following: Bruneau American Legion or Auxiliary, PO Box 582, Bruneau, ID 83604, Bruneau Boosters, PO Box 604, Bruneau, ID 83604, or Bruneau Quick Response, PO Box 294, Bruneau, ID 83604.

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