Bonnie J. Behee-Semler, age 72, of River Hills, passed away peacefully at home with her family by her side on January 31, 2020, after a 26-month courageous battle with appendix cancer.
Bonnie was born in Chicago to amazing parents. Her father, Robert Behee, was a WWII Veteran of Omaha Beach in Normandy and circus trapeze artist. Her mother, Margaret (Miller) Behee was also a circus performer and loving housewife.
Beloved wife of David Semler (together 40 years). Loving mother to Bobby (Mary) Amich and Cathy (Andy) Boerner. Dear step-mother to Zachary (Suzanne) Semler, the late Joshua Semler, and Aaron Semler. Loving grandmother to Tiffany (Neil) Aguilar, Billy (Toni) Kitzke, Tyler (Alyssa) Amich, Adam Boerner, Dillon Boerner, Emily Semler and Eli Semler. Proud great-grandmother to five beautiful great-grandchildren Gavin, Sabik, Uriah, Daenerys, and Jaxson. Cherished sister-in-law to Barbara (Marko) Bosnjak and Karen (Michael) Joyce and many nephews, nieces and cousins.
After a distinguished career as a registered nurse and pediatric nurse practitioner, Bonnie decided to return to school for her master’s degree in educational psychology and then her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Marquette University. She had a common thread throughout her nursing career of increasing parent education through counseling in outpatient clinics and neonatal intensive care units. She was a practicing Clinical Psychologist up until the months before her passing. Bonnie specialized in psychological diagnostic assessments, particularly for children on the autism spectrum. Her joy came from supporting and empowering parents who have children with disabilities.
Bonnie was an active community leader over the years, serving as founding president of the Wisconsin Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Associates; president of the Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care and chair of its Infant/Family Committee; as a facilitator of the March Of Dimes Support Group for Parents; and as a member of the Wisconsin Division of Health and Department of Public Instruction work groups on Maternal and Child Health Block Grants and the Birth to Three Program.
Bonnie was passionate about the Scottish arts and performed across Milwaukee, Canada and Scotland as a member of the Caledonian Scottish Dancers, a Milwaukee Scottish Highland dance group. She shared this passion with her daughter, Cathy, who was also a highland dancer and her son and daughter-in-law, Bob & Mary, and grandson, Adam, who were drummers in Scottish bagpipe bands.
Bonnie’s hobbies and joy came from; attending Rod Stewart concerts (active member of the Rod Stewart Fan Club), going to Road America with David and their “Turn 6 friends,” going on “Keeping the Blues Alive” Joe Bonamassa music cruises with David, Fireside Theatre shows, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas concerts with family members.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Appendix Cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei Research Foundation (ACPMP), https://acpmp.org/donate.
A celebration of Bonnie’s life will be held on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at the Bavarian Bierhaus, 700 W. Lexington Blvd. Glendale, WI from 4:00pm to 8:00 pm.
Celebration of Life
Date: Wednesday Feb 5, 2020
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Bavarian Bierhaus [map]