“Outside of my regular job, everything I have done my whole life has been volunteer work,” says eighty-six-year-old Bonnie Atchison of Columbiana. A school teacher for twenty years, Bonnie taught English, speech and drama at Shelby County High School and is a Sanford University graduate.  “I loved teaching and the interpretation of literature.” As theatre director at the school, she worked with more than 1,000 students. Bonnie has since had the opportunity to share the theatre stage in a comedy/drama production along with twenty other local actors; she played the elderly heiress, Miss Sadie in “Welcome to Mitford.”

Although she earned her last paycheck in 1983, Bonnie Ruth Atchison is busy doing whatever she can find to do. Whether it is ministering to the bereaved through her work with Grief Share Friends or taking a pot of homemade soup to her church for an event, Bonnie is constant in her devotion to help others.  She is renown throughout the community for her generosity, compassion and charity. Her union with her high school sweetheart, Lewis, produced two children. She remarried after his passing to Harry, a Columbiana native. The happy couple settled there in 1976. Now a widow, Bonnie loves to bake and her church still calls on her for her culinary skills. She shares her home with her thirteen-year-old, one eyed poodle named “Winkey.”

The Birmingham native is grandmother of five and great-grand of seven. “Everything that is an extension of life can be demonstrated in what you do and what you give to make the lives of others (students, ladies in my club, church, etc.) better. “Bonnie states emphatically. She has been a member of RSVP since 2014 and has logged 1718 hours this year. Much of her volunteer time was never reported.