Cover photo for Bonnie Jean Hannah's Obituary
Bonnie Jean Hannah Profile Photo
1919 Bonnie 2018

Bonnie Jean Hannah

February 2, 1919 — October 12, 2018

Bonnie Jean Hannah: A Life Well Lived Which Blessed Many.

Retired Andrews University professor, Bonnie Jean Hannah, 99, went to sleep in Jesus on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, at Shangrila Home in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She was born on Feb. 2, 1919 in Nevada, Iowa to Cora Briggs and William C. Hannah.

Bonnie Jean earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Emmanuel Missionary College in 1942. She later completed a MA in business education at Columbia University. For the next 11 years she taught at five different Seventh-day Adventist academies and colleges.

She joined the faculty of Emmanuel Missionary College in 1953 and became an active part of the transformation of Emmanuel Missionary College into Andrews University as the school grew from 500 students to more than 3,000. She was professor and chair of the business education department.

She served as head deaconess at Pioneer Memorial Church for 16 years and church elder for eight years.

Bonnie Jean had lots of hobbies and interests over the years such as her collie dogs, traveling, stamp collecting, china painting, and spoon and giraffe collecting, but her passion was always her students.

While she was a faculty member at Andrews, she spearheaded an initiative to create an endowed scholarship fund for worthy international students. Not only did she contribute personally, but she also encouraged her current and former students to do the same and that fund is currently almost $38,000.

In 1970 she went on an around-the-world tour in 92 days with her good friend, Arlene Friestad. They traveled to 25 countries, had a fabulous time, and didn’t lose their luggage! Friends Merlene Ogden, Edith Stone, Dorothy Hill and Stella Greig would join Bonnie Jean for a drive to Chicago’s Marshall Fields during the Christmas season to eat a meal around its famous very tall and beautifully decorated Christmas tree. During the summer the friends could be found at the Shipshewana, Indiana, flea market looking for treasures to add to their collections.

In spite of a battle with cancer twice in her life she enjoyed many years of health and happiness with friends and family, who will miss her.

Professor Hannah’s parents, Cora & William, her brother, Dr. Harry W. Hannah, and nephew-in-law, Don Atherton, preceded her in death.

She is survived by her nephew Dr. Ralph (Sandra) Hannah of California, niece Barbara Hannah Atherton of Pennsylvania, grand-niece Melinda and grand-nephew Eric, grand-nephews Mike (Paula) Atherton and Bill (Pam) Atherton, and their families; cousin Murray Lofthouse and his wife, Ruth.

Memorial contributions may be made to Your Story Hour. A graveside service will be held at Rose Hill Cemetery on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m. Allred Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. Online messages may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bonnie Jean Hannah, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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