Bonnie Howell passed away peacefully on March 4, 2021, in McKinney, Texas.
Bonnie Blanch Hollandsworth was born September 20, 1937 in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in a place called Indian Valley. She was next to the oldest of six children born in eight years.
Bonnie's mother, Dorthulia Josephine Simpkins was the youngest of ten children and her father, Carl Martin Hollandsworth, was next to the youngest of ten children. Therefore, Bonnie had many dear cousins to love and share life with. Grandpa Simpkins and Grandpa Hollandsworth became the great encouragers in Bonnie's life.
Bonnie seemed to be born with a bent toward strong-will rebellion. By the age of eight she had broken many of the 'do not do' rules. Because of the witness of her dear friend Nadine, she repented of her evil ways and then spent her days seeking comfort from a God she didn't know very well, hating the things she had formally been a part of. She spent any free time playing a pump organ singing the old hymns.
After marrying Ramond Howell in 1955, she moved from the beloved mountains away from family and friends. Life was very hard emotionally and she became greatly depressed. In 1960, they moved to Richmond, VA with their first son, Mark, who was 18 months old. For the first time Bonnie began to hear the truths of the gospel from Christian radio. She made contact with several of these gospel programs, began attending church and received assurance of her salvation. She experienced great peace and immediate healing from the depression. She later found out that neighbors on both sides of them were Christians and were praying for her.
She enjoyed the fellowship of Child Evangelism Fellowship, graduated from Moody Bible Institute, became a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators and by 1973 was the mother of six precious children. As a stay-at-home mom she served volunteering in nursing homes and crisis pregnancy centers.
At age 65 Bonnie went to St. Petersburg, Russia with Campus Crusade for Christ to take the gospel to orphanages and prisons there. A couple years later she went with the International Mission Board to Thailand.
One of the greatest joys of her life was in 2000 when she moved to Texas and became Grandma to twelve precious grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. When these kids became too big to need grandma anymore, she became almost fulltime with a Bible correspondence ministry to prisons called Write Way Prison Ministries with over 8,000 students in prisons in Texas and Louisiana. She also served individuals with special needs at her church and in her life.
Her church and the fellowship she found there was her strength and comfort throughout the years of her life, some of these years were very difficult. The many sad happenings in her life did not erase the joy she had in knowing Jesus Christ and having Him meet every need in her life. Her life was filled with God's strength being made perfect in her many weaknesses, with God keeping His promise to make it all work out for her good and for His glory.
She is survived by her husband, Ramond Howell; siblings Lucille Fuller, Jerry Hollandsworth, and Judy Hylton; children Mark Howell, Angela Nyberg, Donna MacKenzie, Joe Howell, Evelyn Howell, Joy Howell; daughters-in-law Donna Howell, Summer Howell, and Laura Moore; sons-in-law Jeff Nyberg, Brian MacKenzie, and Jarrod Danielson; Grandchildren Brooke Moore, Jon Nyberg, Christin Nyberg, Jesse MacKenzie, Kevin MacKenzie, Adam MacKenzie, Seth MacKenzie, Joey Howell, Alyson Swanson, Garrett Danielson, Jasmine Danielson, and seven great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by grandson Markus Howell; siblings Kenneth Hollandsworth, Evans Hollandsworth; parents Martin and Josie Hollandsworth.
In lieu of flowers gifts may be sent in Bonnie's name to:
Joni and Friends Texas
2001 W Plano Pkwy, #2060
Plano, TX 75075