Cover photo for Mary Elizabeth “Bonnie” Vanoosterhout's Obituary
Mary Elizabeth “Bonnie” Vanoosterhout Profile Photo

Mary Elizabeth “Bonnie” Vanoosterhout

Mary Elizabeth (Bonnie) VanOosterhout, mother of Dan (Martha), Mike (Patty), Katie, Jamie (Kristin) Ahearn and wife of Peter VanOosterhout, died peacefully at the Cleveland Clinic on 9/1/23 with her family including her stepchildren PD and Sarah by her side. Bonnie grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Kathleen and Delmont Caryl and sister of Kay, (Dick Kuhn), Brub (Jean Caryl) and Jane (Lou Isidoro). She graduated from Villa Maria Academy in 1958 and attended Edinboro University for two years in the 1970’s where she excelled in photography. Bonnie and her family spent formative years on ten acres of land near Edinboro, Pennsylvania where they were surrounded by nature, horses, dogs, cats and even a cow. They had a lot of fun! By the 1980’s Bonnie had created a reputable dog breeding business of Labrador Retrievers and Lowchens called Goodtyme Kennels. For over thirty years, she was active in breeding, showing, training and hunting both dogs and, earlier, horses. She served as the Vice President of the Lowchen Association and the Vice President of the Erie Pony club.

Bonnie had a zest for life and a keen eye for beauty in art, gardening, fashion, crafts and interior decorating; she developed many skills and hobbies including collecting and refurbishing antiques and gardening. Bonnie’s gardening skills were masterful; she created striking flower, tree and land scapes on Northeastern, Southern and Midwestern properties where strangers often stopped to admire her creations. She tended her gardens to her dying day. Bonnie was a great friend. She developed lifelong friendships spanning decades and states from her childhood in Erie to locations in Ohio, Florida, Maryland and Vermont. Bonnie had a powerful spirit, and she loved passionately her children, siblings, grandchildren: Ryan, Brendan, Tim, Molly, Shannon, Michael, Meghan, Ben and Gabe; her great grandchildren: Everest, Sia, Jack, Caroline and Claire; her nieces, nephews and cousins – especially Gail Guthleben – and Lebron James. She is survived by her three children, Dan, Mike and Katie, her devoted husband Peter, her stepchildren, Sarah, Susie and PD, her grand and great grandchildren and her former husband, Jack Ahearn.  All who knew the unforgettable Bonnie will miss her.

A funeral mass will be held in honor of Bonnie on Friday, 10/27/23 at 11:00am at Church of the Gesu, 2470 Miramar Blvd., University Heights, OH  44118. Guests may gather in advance from 10:00am in the church lobby.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Canines for Disabled Kids;

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Elizabeth “Bonnie” Vanoosterhout, please visit our flower store.


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