Bette Virginia (Heckendorn) Bonds was born in San Jon NM in 1935.  She traveled far and wide from there, with her final resting place in Broomfield, CO.

Bette was married to Bill Bonds for 44 years. They had four children, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and as of last summer, one great-great-grandson, all of whom benefitted from her life-long love affair with babies. Babies were so much more fun when Bette was bringing out their smiles and coos and goos. 

Bette devoted her early married years to raising kids while supporting her husband’s career moves around New Mexico plus a short stint in New Jersey. When her husband opened his own CPA office, Bette worked alongside him for several years, helping to make it a thriving success.  She was an active volunteer for numerous organizations including the school library, tutoring 1st and 2nd graders in reading, Camp Fire Girls, Myasthenia Gravis organization, baked a million cookies for DeMolay boys, helped low-income taxpayers prepare their tax returns, was the volunteer coordinator for Meals on Wheels, and many other acts of kindness and charity. When she first moved to Broomfield in her seventies, she especially enjoyed her volunteer job driving people to doctor appointments. Since she was new to the metro area, she taught herself how to use Google Maps to be sure she always got her patients to their doctors on time.   

Bette loved to spread out roadmaps and plan driving trips, finding interesting side trips that were just another inch or two off the beaten track.  And all her trips included her famous applesauce cake!  

Besides the driving trips, she also travelled to Hong Kong, Mainland China, the British Isles, Ireland, Germany (and France via a mistaken turn), Mexico, Canada, and almost every corner of the United States.  Bill and Bette were in Canada when the 9/11 attack occurred.  Unable to fly home, they drove their rental car, a purple PT Cruiser, all the way from British Columbia to Albuquerque, where it sat in the airport rental lot for years, looking lost and lonely with its Canadian license plates. 

Bette’s greatest artistic talent was her sewing. She produced the most original creations combining multiple patterns, and usually cussing through the entire process because she didn’t buy quite enough material. Yet it always came out beautifully.  She made everything from wedding and flower girl gowns, to matching granddaughter and doll outfits, to a pillow for her son’s butt-ugly pug.

Bette enjoyed plays and art, though nothing excited her as much as sharing a beautiful sunset with neighbors on her porch, with wine. She loved her crossword puzzles and reading, often finishing a book a night. She was a well-rounded, intelligent, funny, socially aware person who was more interested in other people than in herself.

Bette was a rock-solid source of support for her family and friends. She organized get-togethers or travel plans with consideration for everyone’s needs and preferences, like the time she put together a vacation for her entire family for a week along the Oregon Coast in beach houses.  She was a superlative baby-sitter. She has graciously opened her home to out-of-town relatives when they had hospital stays.  Everyone knew they could rely on her to do whatever was needed, no fuss, no bother, and please–no thanks!


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8 thoughts on “Bette Bonds”

  1. From all in the Curtis family… We send our Love. Our families have shared many fun times together. Your Mom meant the world to our Mom! We are grateful for her continued friendship as it brought our Mom lots of joy! Mom shared many many stories.

    Please know we wish you comfort and love and laughter at your gathering this weekend!

  2. I don’t know how many times I couldn’t remember something and always thought: “I’ll just ask Bette. She’ll know”. I was once complaining about a chair we had that I thought hadn’t lasted very long. I heard, “well, Patricia, you bought that chair in…”. She knew the date! She had a phenomenal memory and knew everyone’s birthday…everyone’s! I know I will miss her!

  3. Oh how I will miss Aunt Bette’s dry sense of humor! I always looked forward to seeing her at family gatherings because I knew she’d have some deadpan comment about the world that would make me laugh. She was one of the first people I met when I joined the family and I have such great memories (first one: her showing me the turtles roaming around in your Albuquerque backyard!!) All my love to you and your families.

  4. As a niece from Oklahoma I never got to see Aunt Bette much. She always seemed so beautiful and elegant to me. She was very kind. I remember she showed an interest when she learned I was interested in art. That meant a lot to me as a child because I was regarded strangely by some for showing such an interest. I will never forget when our mother died and she called me and we chatted for a short time. That meant a lot to me as well. It sounds like she had a very good life up to the very end and that makes me very happy. Love to all the family and may all your good memories sustain you – Linda Maloney

  5. Sending you a big hug during this difficult time. Bette’s kindness knew no bounds and I will remember her fondly.

  6. Both Bill and Bette we very kind to me back in the day. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of being around the Bonds’ house, hanging out playing board games and just having a great time. Thank you Bette…you’ll always hold a special place in my heart. I’m so glad you were a part of my life…it made all the difference.

  7. Bette was part of our little card group on Wednesday nights here at Anthem Ranch. I am so very grateful for the time I spent with her and will always treasure her sassy humor. There’s no possible replacement for her and we will all miss her terribly. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  8. I never had the privilege of being around Aunt Bette a whole lot. It always seemed she was so organized and was so very pretty. She made you feel comfortable and welcome. I send many prayers to the whole family and know that Bette was very special, one of a kind. Love You All

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