After a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Bonnie Ann Presley died peacefully at TenderNest
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Bonnie Ann Presley, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Assisted Living on January 14, 2021 in Billings, MT at the too young age of 71.
Bonnie was born on August 7, 1949 in Tucson, AZ to James and Margaret Kautz. Her father
was in the U.S. Airforce and stationed there at the time. She was named for a dream her
mother had about the song “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.” Bonnie was very special as she
was the first grandchild on both sides of the family. She grew up on a farm in Worden, MT with
her sister, Susan, and her two brothers, Jim and Dan.
As the oldest child, Bonnie could be daring and sometimes liked to push limits. Her siblings
learned by the precedents she set. The siblings loved to play outside on the farm, go for drives
with their parents, and visit family members. Bonnie was especially close to her sister as they
were growing up. They shared the same double bed all the way through high school!
She graduated from Huntley Project High School in 1967. In high school, she was both a good
student and a “social butterfly.” She participated in student council, choir, pep club, yearbook
staff, and class plays. She was also voted Sweetheart Ball Queen and loved being a
cheerleader. She was proud of the fact that she could still do the splits into her late 50s!
She married her high school sweetheart, Richard Smiedala, also in 1967. They had three
children Stacey Evan, Annette Renae, and Timothy Richard. They raised their family in Billings
and enjoyed watching and supporting their children in all of their activities. Her children were
taught to work hard, be respectful, and reach for their goals. Among other things, her children
will remember Bonnie as a very strong, loving, and hard-working person. Her beautiful smile
and contagious laugh will never be forgotten!
Later in life, Bonnie married Charles Mueller. They loved to travel and care for their house and
Besides being a doting mom, Bonnie worked several jobs throughout her life. Some of these
included customer service clerks, medical secretary, administrative assistant, and school bus
driver. Most recently, Bonnie worked for many years as a middle school paraprofessional in
both Helena and Billings. This was a position she was passionate about. She really connected
with this age group, and the students adored her.
She had many talents and interests. Bonnie definitely had the “gift of gab!” She was a people
person and would make friends wherever she went. At 5’2”, she could get lost in a crowd, but
with her fun and friendly personality, she managed to stand out instead. People enjoyed
Bonnie’s company and friendship. She loved sitting on her porch, having coffee with friends
and family, and chatting for hours and hours. Bonnie was known to be the best storyteller!
It was very important to Bonnie that everything was perfect. She was a “neat freak!” Her homes
were always beautiful, and she took great pride in that. This transferred to her yards, her cars,
and her appearance as well. She had a knack for interior design, and it became a big hobby for
her. She also loved to shop, read, spoil her dogs, and “Sweat to the Oldies” with Richard
Simmons. She was active in her churches over the years, too. Family members would say
Bonnie made the best peach pie, goulash, and homemade dinner rolls!
Spending time with her children and grandchildren was the most important thing to Bonnie. She
looked to her son, Stacey, for advice and guidance. She trusted him with anything and was
very thankful for their relationship. Bonnie shared a love of music and her creative spirit with
her son, Tim. They were two “peas in a pod” with their common interests. Her daughter,
Annette, was her best friend. They would talk each and every day and supported each other
through all of life’s events, both good and bad. She will be desperately missed!
Her grandchildren loved to tease “Grandma Bonnie,” and she loved to play games with them
and watch them in their music programs and sporting events as they were growing up. She had
a special bond with her grandson, Mikel. They had a playful and loving relationship and could
always make each other laugh.
Elvis was very important to Bonnie. Over the years, she talked her friends and her daughter,
Annette, into going to several Elvis impersonator shows. She was proud of the fact that she had
gotten to visit Graceland on at least 5 different occasions, and she had even met some of Elvis’
extended family members. She loved to read about Elvis, watch his movies, collect
memorabilia, and of course, dance to his music! Bonnie was an excellent dancer. You will
make it to Graceland again someday, Mom!
Bonnie is survived by her three children Stacey Smiedala of Helena, MT, Annette Julian (Mark)
of Billings, MT, and Tim Smiedala (Mona) of Olympia, WA; her 7 grandchildren Morgan, Josey,
Carly, Mikel, Maggie, Ahsha, and Bodhi; sister Susan Sherman (Pat), sisters-in-law Sherrie
Kautz and Susan Kautz, and numerous nieces, nephew, cousins and other extended family.
She is preceded in death by her parents James and Margaret Kautz, brothers James Kautz and
Daniel Kautz, and godson and nephew Kurt “Cubby” Kautz.
A funeral is scheduled for Saturday, January 23rd, at Smith’s Downtown Funeral Chapel, 925 S.
27th Street, with a reception to follow after. All are welcome to come and celebrate Bonnie’s
life. Please wear a mask, and you are encouraged to wear yellow, Bonnie’s favorite color. In
lieu of flowers, please send donations to Cubby’s Closet at 555 West E. Road, Huntley, MT
59037. Condolences can be sent to Annette Julian at 1262 Twin Lakes Dr., Billings, MT 59105.
The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers at TenderNest Assisted Living for the
unwavering attention, patience, and love that they gave to Bonnie over the years and to
Stillwater Hospice for her end of life care.