Bonnie Mariam Watts and James Mark Watts MT. PLEASANT - Bonnie Mariam Lohrmann was born September 2, 1935 in Hillsdale, Indiana to James and Hazel Lohrmann. The youngest of eleven children, she was loved and adored by all her siblings. Growing up, she worked at a diner and was a traffic manager at the local radio station. Her teen years where happy but filled with anxiety as she had five brothers in the war simultaneously. Bonnie knew Jim since they were children, and they were married on June 17, 1956. They raised two boys, Mark and Jim, laying a foundation in Indiana, then Minnesota, and finally Mount Pleasant, SC. Bonnie and Jim never forgot their Indiana roots, often visiting family and spending time at one of their favorite places in the world, Turkey Run State Park. She was known for her charm, style, and a forever bond to her husband, Jim, of 65 years. Bonnie loved flowers, especially orchids, and delighted in watching them bloom. She was known for making her 12 Days of Christmas Cookies and embraced the tried-and-true recipes handed down from her relatives. Give her a new magazine or a good novel and she was happy as a clam, and when Christmas came around it was time to listen to, Charlie Brown Christmas. Even with such grace, she could throw out a more direct word or two if you crossed her on the road. Bonnie loved and cared for her friends. She absolutely loved them, and they loved her right back. The tennis group, and her Zumba family of 10 years (she adored every one of them), provided support and affection in South Carolina, and her half-century long relationship with her old Minnesota neighborhood gang has only grown stronger throughout the years of separation. She loved watching football and tennis and enjoyed a gin and tonic every night with Jim while looking for birds and hungry deer out the window. Bonnie kept a positive attitude during challenging life events, but her over three-year struggle with cancer unfortunately defined what direction life would take her. But she never said, "why me" even though she had every right. Her adoring husband, Jim, son's Mark, and Jim (Chug), and her unbelievable friends never let her forget how loved she was. Bonnie left us peacefully January 7th, at 86 years old. She is survived by her sons, loving granddaughter, Isabella, brother, Mike, sister, Donna, and many, many friends. James Mark Watts was born December 7, 1934 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Jim (Jimmy) had one brother, Jon Robert, who unfortunately passed away shortly after his birth. Jimmy enjoyed riding his bike, playing ball, and going to the dump to shoot cans. His mother, Grace Louise, was a teacher and his father, James Henry, was a teacher, driving instructor, and a state trooper. Jimmy got his work ethic by watching his family work hard for everything they had. In 1953, he went into the Army for three years as a combat engineer and was stationed in Germany. During his service Sgt Watts started writing a beautiful lady he had known many years, Bonnie Lohrmann. Jim knew the Lohrmann family and played baseball with Bonnie's brothers. He wrote hundreds of letters to Bonnie during his time in the service and they were married on June 17, 1956. In 1960 and 1962, Jim and Bonnie had their sons. Jim worked for Columbian Enameling in Terre Haute, IN and was eventually offered a sales position in Minnesota. He was a great salesman, and never forgot to bring his boys something back from his road trips, usually a model car or airplane. Jim and Bonnie established themselves in Minnetonka, Minnesota and there would meet a group of lifelong friends. They enjoyed dancing (even Polka), bridge, golf, bowling, and cross-country skiing, while always participating in the boy's activities. Jim would sometimes find himself with a sportscar or two, usually a Jaguar or an American muscle car. His passion for his cars turned to reality, as he had a beautiful wife and children that needed him more than a fast car. They embraced the nearby lakes; boating, fishing, skiing, and had an annual July 4th party at their Big Island cabin. Their beloved Cairn Terrier, Daisy, joined the family at this time. His whole life, Jim enjoyed doing the things that he had been doing since he was a small boy, like target shooting and throwing a ball, and never forgot that Indiana was home. After moving south, Jim was able to enjoy tennis more and met a group of long-lasting friends. He was known for his energetic nickel-dime poker nights with his buddies, watching football with Bonnie, partaking in a daily gin and tonic with his one and only, making a whole pot of Low Country Boil for out-of-town guests, and sitting with a pen and paper, "working on something." Jim was known to read a whole book by Louis L'Amour or Bernard Cornwell in one sitting and was proud tell you all about his movie collection, (hope you had a few minutes). Every afternoon, he would feed the deer and make sure the bird feeders were full to see their favorite bird, the Painted Bunting. He enjoyed capturing the abundant wildlife on camera. While Jim's body couldn't hold back the years, his commitment to work kept his mind fresh as he was the building manager at One Vendue Range in downtown Charleston into his 80s. Toward the end of his life, he was building bookshelves for their home to help Bonnie adjust to their new address. Bonnie's diagnosis was a huge blow to Jim, and he did everything in his power to make her feel loved, comfortable, and content. She was his life, and his actions confirmed that every day for over 65 years. Jim left us on January 9th at 87 years old, a short 37 hours after his one true love, Bonnie. He left behind his two sons, Mark, and Jim (Chug), granddaughter, Isabella, and a multitude of grateful friends and admirers. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, January 25th, (11:00 AM) at Sunrise Presbyterian, 3222 Middle Street on Sullivan's Island, followed by a luncheon at Fran and Joe's home in Mount Pleasant. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to The Birds of Prey Center in Awendaw, SC (where Jim volunteered), Tunnel to Towers Foundation, or your favorite animal rescue. Visit our guestbook at legacy.com/obituaries/charleston
Published by Charleston Post & Courier from Jan. 14 to Jan. 15, 2022.