Bonnie Mara, age 80, of Hailey, Idaho, passed away unexpectedly Saturday morning, Sept. 28, 2013, with her daughter Kay at her side.
She leaves her adoring husband of 60 years, Edward James “Jim” Mara Jr., of Hailey; her three daughters, MegAnn Mara-Smith and husband Bo Smith, of Dover, Ark., Kay Mara, of Hailey, and Petrea Mara and husband Jordan Davis, of Hailey; her daughter-in-law Hyun Joo Park Mara, of Flower Mound, Texas; her grandsons Hanson Smith, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Edward James “Jimmy” Mara IV, of Dallas, Texas; her granddaughter Dorothy Annika Smith, of Easthampton, Mass.; her brother Clyde Zirbel and wife Margaret, Bonnie’s beloved friend, of Loomis, Calif.; and her brother William Zirbel, of Lake Stevens, Wash. She is preceded in death by her son Edward James Mara III.
Bonnie was born May 4, 1933, in Oakland, Calif., to Clyde and Dorothy Lanzer Zirbel, and was raised in Boulder Creek, Calif. She graduated from Boulder Creek High School in 1948. She was a member of Sigma Kappa at San Jose State University, where she graduated with a degree in Education in 1952. Bonnie and Jim met at San Jose State and were married at St. Michael’s Church in Boulder Creek after Jim was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1953. They started their family in California and moved to Ohio, Arkansas, Indiana, and back to Arkansas, before retiring in Idaho.
Bonnie received her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Butler University and proceeded to open the Red Cottage Preschool in Noblesville, Ind., and another Red Cottage in Magnolia, Ark. After moving to Hailey, she opened The Body Buff in Ketchum and in Hailey.
Bonnie was known to be kind-hearted and helpful to people in need and living through stressful times. She is fondly remembered by her family and friends for her lively wit, her encyclopedic memory, and her love of animals, especially Lucy, her cocker spaniel. Bonnie was an extraordinary cook in the kitchen—with a cup of this and a dash of that—and a wonderful seamstress. She made a beautiful, comfortable home for her family, and she was an original visual artist and collector of antiques. She was known to her beloved grandchildren as “Nana” and they could do no wrong in her eyes.
Visitation will be on Thursday, Oct. 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Wood River Chapel. Funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church in Sun Valley on Friday, Oct., 4, at 11 a.m. Pallbearers will be her grandsons Hanson Smith and Jimmy Mara, her sons-in-law Bo Smith and Jordan Davis, her nephew Eric Zirbel, and her dear friend Tony Velo. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Wood River Animal Shelter in Hailey.