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Bonnie Lynne Crysdale

Born: 4/15/1942, Salt Lake City, Utah
Death: 11/29/2019, Castle Valley, Utah
Service: 12/28/2019, 2:00 pm, MARC on 100 South

Bonnie Crysdale, a geologist, quilter, my wife, mother of daughter Cris Ann and son Kent and sister of Barbara Murdock of Heber City UT, dropped from our lives in the space of two minutes without warning at age 77, a heart attack at a Thanksgiving party with family and friends all around her. It was what we had often talked about and what we all say we all want Ė to be in perfect health until the day you die Ė except that it was 10 years too early. Words canít express how much Iím going to miss her. She was the 30 year love of my life.

Bonnie Hansen was born in 1942, one of three girls, to Salt Lake City parents of LDS stock who gratefully spent more time taking them fishing than church going. Her father taught her how to bait her own hook, a principle she later extended to encouraging women to take control of their own lives. That fierceness was what would attract me years later.

About 1961, she married Dick Crysdale, and after a short but memorable stint in Yellowstone Park and many moves across the country settled down in Lakewood, Colorado. Soon they had two children, Cris Ann and Kent. She began climbing mountains and took an interest in rocks. She went on to acquire a Bachelorís degree in Geology and worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in Lakewood for about 17 years. Their marriage ended but to their credit would remain civil throughout the remainder of their lives.

Our first date in 1986 was an ascent of a 13,900í peak in the San Juanís. Right from the first night at the trailhead on a rainy night in a tent we talked effortlessly seemingly all night. We would go on to talk like that for the rest of her life. We got married in Boulder, CO in 1988 where memorably she told our assembled wedding guests in the back yard of our house that she had been looking for a man with washer-dryer hookups and she had finally found him. We would go on to finish off her Highest 100 list in the next few years when she wasnít carrying around Geology or log-cabin building books in her hands. She finished her Masters in Geology at C.U. in 1989.

When we werenít working we traveled, biked, climbed 13íers, cross-country skied, rafted rivers and hiked the deserts. The latter brought us to Moab where we would crash on a friendís floor. In 2000 we bought a place in Moab our friends told us we couldnít afford. In 2000 we moved over there. Two years later and after many discarded designs we settled on our dream house which turned out to be stucco rather than log-cabin. We spent two years building it, still married at the end hallelujah, giving rise to one of my favorite lines: Never argue with a woman with a nail-gun in her hand. She had cleverly designed the house with her own dedicated sewing/quilting room. She went on to appropriate the basement with a long-arm quilting machine, figuring it was easier to ask forgiveness than permission. But she didnít ask forgiveness either.

Iím not exaggerating when I say she was a mentor, an inspiration and friend to so many people. I hope you can come to her memorial service in Moab on Saturday, Dec. 28, at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center from 2 Ė 6 PM in the Stage Room, a celebration of her life. Thatís what she wanted. There will be food, wine and beer, hugs, quilts, a lot of talking and a lot of pictures. I hope youíll tell your stories, anecdotes and remembrances of her to the rest of us. Please consider donations to your favorite charity in lieu of flowers.

Love, Mike Duncan


Mike, so so sad and shocked to see Bonnie's obituary, but agree with you that it is certainly the way to go--just way to soon. Always loved our hut trips and Bonnie reprimanding you for getting on slopes too high and too steep--and you of course just turning your hearing aid down. Will also always remember when we were actually going to two huts and we had a big snow the first night and there were no tracks or trail the next day. After about an hour Bonnie stopped and she said was uncomfortable about our direction and after checking her map and compass turned us 90 degrees into a thick forest, but we came out about 45 minutes later on a trail to the next hut. Yea Bonnie. It's been such a pleasure to call you guys up every time we come through Moab for another Utah adventure and have a short chat. Don't worry we'll still call and bug you about something. I'll miss her a lot. Love,
- Ben Gilbert

I'm so sorry for your loss. I got to know Bonnie through quilting. She was one of the best teachers of quilting with lots of patience. She taught me how to quilt and I can never forget her. With deepest sympathy,
- Betty Avalos

My heart goes out to you and your family, Mike. It has been too long since I last saw you two. The last time I recall was on my way to the Grand Canyon probably in the late 2000s.I gave you two a ring at the last minute. You and Bonnie were so cordial dropping everything to meet us for dinner. It was a really nice dinner we had. I remember our hut trips and how strong a skier Bonnie was. I remember she inspired me to practice my orienteering skills. These are memories that never go away. I wasn't around for the building of your house, but the story of you, Bonnie, and that nail gun put a smile on my face. It is abundantly clear why your house turned out so pleasant. I wish I had been able to tell Bonnie that every time I think of my ideal home, I think of you and Bonnie and the house you built together. This is not an exaggeration, I really do. It is as beautiful and warm as a home can be. It was always abundantly clear to me that that warmth was directly sourced from you two together. Words just cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. I am sorry I can't make it to the service. Please know my thoughts are with you and your family.
- Chris Mills

Dear Mike and family, Deepest condolences for your loss. Bonnie had a great sense of humor. We were working on a drilling project in Wyoming, decades ago. We would mix up where we sat with the drilling crew at breakfast; it seemed to confuse the waitresses who didn't know which guy we were with. Bonnie tacked up a Cosmopolitan centerfold of Patrick Swayze in the dog house (field trailer), and the driller was a bit shocked. Drilling rigs use a lot of rags, one of which was a massive BVD undie. We drove around Rawlins before we noticed it as a mudflap on on field vehicle with "Love and kisses, Patrick S" written on it. Fun times. She was a good athlete and friend.
- Debra Higley

Mike and family: Bonnie and I became friends through Barbara. Bonnie will be missed by all the quilting friends she has made over the years. The little group that meets every year in Heber will have a big hole in it. May your fond memories sustain you.
- Dorothy Gross

In memory of Bonnie Crysdale, the Glen Canyon Group of the Utah Chapter, Sierra Club, has donated $250 to the Canyonlands Field Institute, one of Bonnie's favorite charities. Bonnie and her husband Mike became early members of the Group shortly after it was organized in 2000. Bonnie led hikes, and shared her knowledge of geology as well as her love of life with many of us over the years. (Jean Binyon, Secretary-Treasurer, Glen Canyon Group)
- Jean Binyon

Mike, Cris Ann, and Kent, It was so hard as I was checking the Denver I do daily, and find my beloved friend Bonnie there before my very eyes. My grief is immeasurable but I have wonderful memories of all the peaks we climbed in Colorado. My favorite shot of you was on the summit of Crestone Peak. We were so happy we got that one done and the registered signed. Be at peace Bonnie, and have some wonderful climbs in heaven. You won't need that hard hat any more. Bless you guys as we miss our Bonnie. Warm thoughts,
- Judy Childers

Mike, I have such wonderful, fond memories of our many outdoor adventures together.. Most notably, I remember going on a hut trip and Bonnie and her meticulous map reading kept us from spending the night in the woods. I loved our time together and am only sad that I hadn't seen either of you in so many years. Bonnie lived such a full life and I know how you will miss your partner. I send you a big hug and hope to see you again in the not-so-distant future.
- kathy neustadt

I was so sorry today when I learned that my good friend Bonnie had passed away. I didn't know Bonnie's married name until I saw the obituary for her dad that my mom had sent to me years ago. Bonnie and I were childhood friends on Garden Avenue. I spent lots of time at that house growing up and then they moved to 2200 West and I was there a lot too. We filled their old rubber boat with water and went swimming in it. Later they moved to 3400 S. State Street. I could now walk to their house. I went to Kamas with them a few times too. We went to Granite High School together and then we lost touch with each other. I remember so many fun times with Bonnie. I was going to call her in Moab but, I never did and now it's too late. So I say so long to a wonderful friend. Hope we see each other again. Sounds like she had a wonderful adventurous life. I guess Barbara is the only one left of the sisters. Hi Barbara, hope you are doing well. Sending my love to you.
- Sharon Lewis Susaeta

Mike- and family... So sorry for your loss. We were neighbors years ago in Kings Ridge (4753 Gibbs for us) Hope you remember- You and Bonnie were lovely, eclectic, and fun. Love and peace.
- Tom O'Banion

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