Bonny was born in Madisonville, Kentucky in 1957, and brought to Alaska by her parents nine months later. Bonny’s parents, Charlie and Carolyn Brown reminisced, “Bonny looked for the good in people and was interested in helping people from the time she was a little girl.”
She graduated from Dimond High in 1975, attended Murray State University in Kentucky and the University of Hawaii, before graduating from the School of Cosmology in San Francisco1979. In 1994 she became an International Certified Destination Management Executive with the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, and a few years later became a Registered Yoga Instructor.
Her talents for organizing and management were put to good use at International Steel where she was a partner and office manager from 1981-84. She branched out and opened the BG Travel Agency from 1987-89, before taking those skills with her to her next job at the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Borough. For the next thirteen years Bonny became an outstanding cheerleader and representative of the Anchorage Community as she traveled around the world promoting Alaska. At the time of her death Bonny was self-employed as owner of her own business, the Can Do Company.
Bonny never sought awards, but after volunteering for years on many state and community organizations, they came her way. In June of 1990 she received the “Wild” Recognition Award for Exceptional Service by the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau, and in 1996 she was awarded the Landmark Illumination Award for her contributions towards initiating the Landmark Illumination Program, that same year she received the Mayor’s Award for Public Service for her work as a member of the Spenard Road Beautification Committee. In 2000 she was A Star Award winner from the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau for maintaining an outstanding school and business partnership with the Anchorage School District, and in 2001 she received an award from the National Association of Partners in Education for outstanding leadership at the National Symposium on Partnership in Education.
Her last award, from Governor Sarah Palin, proclaiming November as Healthy Futures Month, on September 24, 2007 meant a lot to Bonny.
She and her husband founded the health and fitness program called Healthy Futures, and Bonny had worked many years as a volunteer to get the program into the community and schools. A talented recreational runner, Bonny won her latest age group award at the Bear Valley 5K Run in the spring of 2008.
Her many interests centered on family and community activities. Bonny loved being a mother and wife. She enrolled her son Lucas in the Spanish immersion charter school at the age of five so that he could learn to speak Spanish with his father’s family. Lucas, a talented athlete, played on school hockey and baseball teams, excelling in both and Bonny never missed an opportunity to watch his games. When Bonny married Sam Young in 2002 she welcomed his two sons’ into her home and heart. Husband Sam Young said, “She was filled with grace, an angel. I used to tease her by asking where she hid her wings.” Bonny and Sam shared a passion for running and hiking Alaska trails, skiing, yoga, travel and each other. When a trail or mountain run had lot of bridges, or planks across the streams, Bonny and Sam sauntered across the finish line after most of the other runners had completed the race. Bonny loved to explain why it took them so long, “We stop at every bridge for a kiss.”
Bonny is survived by her husband Sam Young; sons Lucas Sosa, Tanner Young, Gunnar Young; sister Debbie Hinchey and brother-in-law Ken Hinchey, sister Charlene Brown; brother Ed Brown and sister-in-law Heidi Brown; nieces Casey Carruth-Hinchey and Brandi Brown, nephews Garret, and Blake Brown, and parents Charlie and Carolyn Brown.