Georgia “Bonnie” Williams


Georgia “Bonnie” Williams was born on December 28, 1929 in Pine Apple, Alabama to George and Danny Watts. Bonnie was the fifth of nine daughters born to “Prof” and “MA” Watts in the deep south. Her parents were so committed to educating their children and the surrounding community that they named an elementary school after her father George W. Watts.

Bonnie taught at a local school until the summer of 1949 when she and her sister “Kitty” decided to take a vacation. They randomly chose a city they never visited and ended in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where Bonnie met Leonard “Bud” Williams. Bonnie and Leonard “Bud” Williams were married in 1950 until his death in 2006.

Bonnie’s commitment to service ran deep where she supported her husband’s work on the city council and when he became the first African American Mayor of Mitchell, South Dakota. Bonnie was also involved in several organizations concerned with healthcare and quality of life including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the American Cancer Society.

As First Lady, she fostered the arts as a founding member of the Mitchell Area Concert Series. She was a faithful servant of the Lord and lived a life of service to others through the Congregational Church, United Church of Christ and worked with the church youth groups and the community. One of her favorite past times was attending monthly meetings with the Round Table Club and spreading good cheer in her day-to- day social activities.

In 1994 the Mitchell school district opened a new elementary school on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University. The school was named the L.B. Williams Elementary School as a tribute to Bud and Bonnie’s service to the residents of Mitchell. Bonnie received her Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Dakota Wesleyan University in 2001.

Bonnie passed away peacefully on December 29, 2020.  Visitation will be from 10:00 AM  until 11:15 AM Saturday, January 2, 2020 at Will Funeral Chapel with a prayer service at 10:45 AM. Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery.

She is survived by her sisters Rosa Lee Jenkins and Pauline Ruth Reeves; nieces: Tracy Winchester, Phyllis Mack, Dorinda Carey, Yolanda Felton, Ann Suzette Dixon; nephews: Richard Jenkins, Felix Carey, Joseph Anthony Reeves; grandnephews and grandnieces: Gerald and Denise Ladner, Austen Winchester, Christopher Valentine, Douglas Mack, Aleen Carey, Marcus Carey, and cousins James & Alexis Funches.

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