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May 25, 1932 – Jan. 6, 2022
Bonnie Thompson obit pic
On January 6th, 2022 our family, friends and community lost our lovely Pink Lady, Bonnie Jean Thompson. Bonnie was born on May 25th, 1932 in Escalon, CA. She was the youngest daughter of George and Edna Thompson of Escalon, CA. She had two sisters, Helen Polhemus and Betty Applequist. As a young girl Bonnie had what she described as an idyllic life in Escalon. She always felt loved and cherished by her parents, her two sisters and family. She will be deeply missed by all those who loved her including the many students and teachers she mentored throughout her life.
More than anything Bonnie loved making those around her happy. She had an infectious smile that lit up any room she entered. She loved spending time with family. When her parents were alive, she enjoyed taking them on trips. Riding her pink motorcycle and having a nice car gave her great pleasure. Bonnie was very private about her faith, but had a deep abiding faith in God. She would often keep a list of people to pray for near her bed.
It is hard to pay tribute to a woman who gave so much of herself to so many. She was humble and most likely would not like much fuss being made about her, but here is a brief story of her professional life.
Bonnie attended grade school and high school in Escalon, CA. She received both her BA and MA from the College of the Pacific (Stockton CA) in Education and Psychology. She went on to receive her certification as a psychologist. She also studied at Stanford University and did continuing education at San Jose State University.
Bonnie’s first teaching job was at the Burwood Elementary School, Escalon CA. She then became a teacher and school counselor for Oakdale Elementary School. In 1959 Bonnie was asked to be the Dean of Girls at Hughson High School (Hughson CA); a job she loved.
In 1962 Bonnie left Escalon to take a position in San Jose, CA, at Lincoln High School. She was the Dean of Girls, and then Vice Principal until 1975. She was a proud Lincoln Lion until her last days. Many lives were changed during her tenure at Lincoln. She always had a jar of jelly beans on her desk!
Bonnie’s other school positions in San Jose included Principal at both John Muir Jr. High and Leland High school. She was also Principal at the South Peninsula Hebrew Day School in Sunnyvale, CA.
Bonnie’s contributions to San Jose State University are too numerous to write here but a few are: preparing and mentoring student teachers and administrators; authoring a student handbook for secondary education students; and as a lecturer in the school of Education. Many young teachers’ lives were molded and changed by this incredible woman.
Bonnie’s last professional position was at the San Jose Unified District Office. She was employed by the teacher’s union as a liaison. She was a source of tremendous knowledge of district history and her contributions there were invaluable.
Bonnie is predeceased by: her parents; her sister Helen and her husband Harold Polhemus; her niece Patti Santini; and brother-in-law Marvin Applequist.
Bonnie is survived by: her loving sister, Betty Applequist; nephew, Marvin Applequist II (Peggy); niece Jo Ann Crouch (Bruce); nephew Peter Applequist (Pam); niece Estella Lougman (George); nephew Ron Polhemus (Clyta); nephew Bill Polhemus; niece Patti’s husband, Bill Santini; and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews. Each person was her “most favorite”.
Bonnie is also survived by daughter of her heart Mary (Crabb) Prevost (Ron), and their daughter, Bonnie E. Hart, Bonnie’s namesake.
There is a memorial scholarship fund in Bonnie’s memory at the Lincoln High School foundation. The scholarship will go to students pursuing teaching degrees. Please mail checks payable to: Lincoln High School Foundation, 555 Dana Ave., San Jose, CA 95126 and write-in “In Memory of Bonnie J. Thompson” or donate using the Donate button at: and write-in “Notes” In Memory of Bonnie J. Thompson.
Online tributes may be left at
A Celebration of Life for Bonnie will be held at a future date. May 25, 2022 would have been Bonnie’s 90th Birthday. Wear Pink in her honor.
The Escalon (Calif.) Times

Feb. 9, 2022