Bonnie Joy (Smith) Ferris

November 20, 1943 – May 14, 2023

Bonnie Joy (Smith) Ferris passed away on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2023, in Missoula, MT. She was born November 20, 1943, in Bozeman, MT to Hubert L (Tex) and Doris (Kavran) Smith. She grew up on ranches all over Montana, where her father worked as a cowboy. She became an accomplished horsewoman and ranch hand at an early age. She was crowned Miss Dillon Jaycee in 1961. She attended schools in several towns, but the majority of her education was in Dillon, where she graduated from BCHS in 1962.

She married David W. Ferris in 1962 and raised a large family of five kids on the Ferris Ranch north of Dillon, while helping with the ranch work, including cow work and haying. She was a dedicated mother and never missed any of the kids’ events, from sports to 4-H to dance recitals to rodeos. She welcomed a large gang of extra kids into her home, as there were rarely days when it was only her own kids at the ranch. She had a large kitchen table and it was always filled to capacity.

When the ranch changed hands, she moved forward and pursued her dream of nursing. She worked twenty years in her second career, some years as an LPN and then became a registered nurse at the age of 50. She worked at the hospitals in Butte and Dillon. She and Dave divorced in 1988 and she joined the traveling nurse program and spent time working in Florida, California and Wyoming, but always returned HOME to Dillon.

After retiring from nursing, she enjoyed travelling and spen