Obituary

A slightly shorter version of this will run in the Columbus Dispatch Thursday, Oct. 29. Laura, Jeff and I worked on this together. The photo is from Laura’s wedding in 1988. Beautiful, isn’t she?

bonnie obit photoBonnie Ann Aitken Caldwell, 78, of Columbus, died Oct. 27 at Columbus Alzheimer Care Center. She was born on June 6, 1937, to Howard and Mavis Aitken in Springfield, Ohio. Bonnie played sports at Northeastern High School and was valedictorian of the class of 1955. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Ohio State University, and held a number of professional positions in that field. Later, she put her accounting talents to use in the circulation department at the Columbus Citizen-Journal and Dispatch. She worked in the College of Education and for the Friends of the Libraries at Ohio State and completed her career in the Registrar’s Office, retiring in 1997. In her personal life, Bonnie maintained a close circle of friends throughout adulthood, enjoying intellectual pursuits and social gatherings. A lifelong learner, she had a great appreciation for the arts. She took frequent trips to New York City and traveled to visit her children, and especially enjoyed seeing her son’s musical performances. She loved a good book and a good laugh. She was an excellent and playful grandmother to Julia and Lily Edwards, who survive her, and offered a thoughtful ear and parenting insights to her older daughter. She is predeceased by her parents and brother-in-law, Gary Lough. She is also preceded in death by her beloved cat Petunia, and loved all of her furry grandchildren, too. Bonnie is also survived by children Laura Caldwell (Marc Edwards), Jeffrey Caldwell and Emily Caldwell (Patrick Keenist); a sister, Nancy Lough; and four nephews: Scott, Barry, Garth and Chad Lough, and their families. On Nov. 3, 2005, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. For most of the following 10 years, and especially the last six at Columbus Alzheimer Care Center, she was funny, affectionate and social – an excellent subject for her younger daughter’s caregiving blog. Bonnie had two boyfriends and told stories in her own special language. Even with little strength, she could give her ear a thorough scratch and share smiles. Donations may be made in Bonnie’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association Central Ohio Chapter or Friends of the Libraries at Ohio State. The family thanks the dedicated staff of Columbus Alzheimer Care Center. Thanks also to Gentiva Hospice. Calling hours are 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Southwick-Good & Fortkamp Funeral Chapel, 3100 N. High St., with a brief memorial service at 1 p.m. A celebration of Bonnie’s life will follow from 2-4 p.m. at Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse, 3055 Indianola Ave.

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3 comments so far

  1. Becky Honeywell on

    Beautiful obit. Beautiful person. Seriously. She was lovely.

  2. patwhite67 on

    Emily, thank you for sharing this most precious time with your readers. Wishing I could have met your mom earlier in her life to have appreciated her as she lived her life so fully.

  3. Sue on

    Hi Emily, I have been reading your blog for several years and have never commented. Not sure why but felt I should now. I could have written your blog myself. I have been caring for my MIL for 10 years. She passed away on Sunday. I have enjoyed your blog and have shared may of the same feelings as you have. I have laughed, cried, and experienced any and all other emotions. You made me feel that I was not the only one living on the rollercoaster of Alzheimer’s. I am so sorry for your loss and wish you much peace.


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