Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Community to remember Hanchett at Saturday service

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Bonny Hanchett. Courtesy photo.
 

 


CLOVERDALE – Lake County publishing pioneer Bonny Hanchett will be remembered at a memorial service planned for Saturday.


The service for Hanchett will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Fred Young Chapel in Cloverdale, 428 N. Cloverdale Blvd.


Bonny Jean Hanchett, 88, died at her home in Cloverdale on Sunday, Sept. 7 with her family nearby. Bonny was owner and publisher of the Cloverdale Reveille newspaper for the past 20 years.


Bonny Jean was born on July 26, 1920 in Muskegon, Mich. to Valentine and Dorothy Howland. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest and attended Washington State University at Pullman where she became interested in journalism and was the first female editor of the college newspaper, The Evergreen.


At college, Bonny met her beloved future husband, Ross Allen Hanchett. The two were married in Asotin, Wash. in 1943 after they graduated college. Ross then entered the US Army and soon was serving in the Pacific Theater of WWII as a radio operator on a B-24 bomber.


The couple’s oldest son, Val, was born in 1945, when Ross was still serving in the Army Air Force, but after he returned the couple settled in Everett, Wash. Two daughters were born there, Mary Beth and Roberta, and in the early 1950s the family moved to Woodland, Wash. where Ross and Bonny purchased the Lewis River News. Another son was born in Woodland, Jon, and then, in 1955, Bonny and Ross bought the Clear Lake Observer-American in Lake County and moved to Lower Lake with their four children.


It was in Lake County that Bonny Jean made her mark as a crusading journalist, bringing important issues to public awareness. She made a name for the Observer with her astute reporting on local politics, especially water issues involving Clear Lake.


The family sold the Clear Lake Observer in 1986, and shortly after the paper sold, Ross passed away. Bonny then became the owner of the Cloverdale Reveille and continued her community focus as reporter, editor and publisher for almost 20 years. She saw many changes in the small city of Cloverdale and made many friends there. She also was owner and publisher of the Campbell Express in Campbell for 15 years.


Bonny leaves her children, Val Hanchett and his wife, Neena; Mary Stowell, and her husband Dennis; Roberta Lyons, and her husband Harry; and Kathryn McKaig, and her husband Dennis. She leaves six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She also leaves her nephew, Ed Bailey and his wife Barbara. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ross; son, Jon; and sister, Betty Poohar.


Following Saturday's service a gathering will be held at the family home in Cloverdale.


In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting contributions be made to the Cloverdale Historical Society, one of Bonny’s favorite causes. The address is: The Cloverdale Historical Society, P.O. Box 628, Cloverdale CA 95425.


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