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Dr. Bonnie J. Behee-Semler

Jul 12, 1947 - Jan 31, 2020

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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]

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Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Dan and Emma McClintock

Celebrate life. Donation made to ACPMP in honor of your Mom. Take care.

Sue Mackowski

I have always admired Bonnie’s passion, in both her personal and professional life. I worked with Bonnie in late 70s at Northpoint. She had a magical touch with babies and families. We crossed paths professionally for decades in child development arenas and looking back, she was a role model for me in compassion and kindness. More recently, we kept in touch through annual Northpoint reunions. She was blessed to have her loving and supportive family through her illness. Rest In Peace, dear Bonnie.

Robert Behee

So sorry to hear about Bonnie’s passing. I never had the opportunity to meet her. What wonderful accomplishments in her life. My condolences to her family. Robert Behee

Ruth Hannuschka

David Semler

I loved my liddle bonny Scottish Highland Lassie Bonnie

Coombs BethAnn

It is a privilege to have known and worked with Bonnie. I will miss Bonnie and her supportive energy. Love you dear friend.

Robert Jarvis, LCSW

I am truly sorry to hear about the loss of Bonnie to you all. She will be truly missed by those who referred our clients and their families for her expertise. May she Rest In Peace.

Bonnie Aguilar

Thank you, Bonnie for your life.

Katie King

To the family of Bonnie, so sorry for your loss . You will be missed Miss Bonnie. You were a gentle kind light, in a sea of darkness for many. I will miss our Words with Friends games and will think of you on my journeys to Vegas twice a year. Your spirit lives on in many.

Terri Lee Zysk

Bonnie will be missed. When David brought Bonnie home, she became a member of the Dobschuetz family. She always was smiling, even through her fight with cancer. She was an amazing woman. My sympathy to her family and friends.

Debra Anderson

Mary Kemnitz

Bonnie was an extraordinary friend. I will miss her. I am visualizing her dancing in a big spirited circle of fellow Highlanders.

Mia Paeske

Pam Chiklakis

Bonnie was an amazing and strong woman. Her dedication and contributions to families she cared for have made such a positive impact and changed lives. My thoughts and prayers are with Bonnie’s family during this extremely difficult time.