Ruth "Bonnie" Watson EAST MONTPELIER — Ruth “Bonnie” MacRitchie Watson, 89, of Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing in Berlin, passed away Tuesday, May 28, 2019, surrounded by family. Born in Barre on Nov. 18, 1929, to parents Malcolm and Minnie (McEwing) MacRitchie, of Websterville, Bonnie grew up in the days of the Great Depression when times were hard. When a person’s life is measured by their accomplishments, then Bonnie certainly exceeded the success chart. Bonnie married Russell H. Watson on March 6, 1950. Russ and Bonnie relocated to Angola, Indiana, where Russ finished his schooling, earning his degree in Civil Engineering at Tri-State University before returning to Vermont. Bonnie’s life was anything but humdrum. She was active in many of the social clubs, joining the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW and involved as well with the American Legion, Elks Club, Moose Lodge, and as a member of the Eastern Star (Masons). Bonnie and Russell raised four children at their home on Hill Street in Montpelier. In those days, she found time to stay active and was an extremely talented knitter. Bonnie’s handiwork produced many lovely and practical afghans and sweaters. Her talents weren’t wasted in the kitchen, either; Bonnie’s meatloaf and pot roast dinners generated very few leftovers. Not one to sit idle, Bonnie decided to go to work at a time when many wives were often homemakers. Her career began as a switchboard operator at the telephone company before landing at the Vermont State House at their telephone switchboard. Bonnie enjoyed the work world and eventually landed a job with the State of Vermont, serving in the Department of Employment Security and finally working at the Department of Social Welfare before her retirement. Most notable during her time at the state was her election as president of the Vermont State Employees Assoc. (VSEA) from 1981-1983, when Bonnie was instrumental in the VSEA’s move to their current location. Always the socialite, Bonnie developed close relationships with dear friends, including Pat Smith, Lois Prescott, June Prescott and Laura Williams. Many a Friday night they were spotted eating salad at the Lobster Pot Restaurant (and perhaps, a glass of wine). Pat Smith remembers that they often went snowshoeing weekends. The world is a big place ... and Bonnie loved traveling to new and exciting places. She and Russell enjoyed motorhoming after their retirement, traveling to many states across the country. Bonnie also embraced her Scottish heritage and delighted in listening to the bagpipes. Her love of heritage motivated her to visit Scotland where in 1999, she and daughter Laurie attended a worldwide family reunion and visited the ancestral land of both her parents. First cousin Bob McEwing noted in his log while in Scotland, that the chef "closed the bar at 1 am but that singing continued until 2:30 am." Ruth did enjoy a party. During their retirement, Bonnie and Russell discovered the warmth of Florida and spent much of the year soaking up the sunshine, eventually settling in Punta Gorda for the winter months. The couple met new friends and embraced the warmer temperatures of Florida where Bonnie “looked forward to Happy Hour.” Russell passed away in 2001 but Bonnie continued to travel to Florida. She became involved with the singles group at Eagle Point in Punta Gorda, and often welcomed her Florida friends to her Vermont home which she returned to summers. Bonnie was predeceased by her husband, Russell, of 51 years; as well as three siblings Jane, Gordon and John MacRitchie. She is survived by daughter Laurie W. Justis and husband Steve, son Robert and partner Melissa B. Bessett, son Bruce and wife Barbara L., all of East Montpelier, and son David and partner Brandi Jagemann, of Orange; her beloved sister, Annie Chase, of Websterville; plus numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Bonnie will be dearly missed by her four grandchildren Bonnie Watson and partner Timothy Miles, of East Montpelier, Julia W. Brown and husband Tyson Brown, of Helena, Montana, Elizabeth Watson, of Encinitas, California, and Brian Watson, of Waterbury Center. Bonnie leaves four great-grandchildren, as well: Alessia and Maddox Miles; and Logan and Theodore Brown. Many thanks go out to the kind and caring staff at Woodridge for their friendship and compassion. A celebration of life will be held from 2-5 p.m. on June 22, 2019, at the Montpelier Elks Club. Donations can be made to the Social Fund at Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing, P.O. Box 505, Barre, VT 05641. Those wishing to express online condolences may do so at www.guareandsons.com.