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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Obituary: Boni, Louis “Lou”

Age 97

BONI, Louis “Lou”

August 31, 1918 - January 01, 2016

How do you write the story of a life so well lived, someone so incredibly special to pretty much every single person he knew?

Lou Boni was truly the Best of the Best!

Born in Spokane, Washington in 1918 to Italian immigrants, Bill and Celeste Boni, he grew up in Kellogg, Idaho, graduating from Kellogg High School.

He attended Whitworth College on an athletic scholarship until interrupted by World War II when he joined the Navy and served as a signal man in the Pacific.

Lou returned to Whitworth to star in both basketball and football and graduate with a degree in education.

It was there he met his true love and soul mate and wife of 64 years, Rene Carlson.

Married in 1947, Lou and Rene began their family in Spokane, where their son, Louis, was born.

They soon moved to Tonasket, WA to begin his career as a Tonasket Tiger.

While there daughters Sally and Barbara were born.

From Tonasket, the family moved to East Wenatchee, Marysville, and finally, in 1971, to Priest Point, WA.

Lou lived the rest of his life in his Priest Point home and there wasn’t a single day that he didn’t say, “We are so fortunate to live here!

Lou was a born athlete, passionate about football, basketball, swimming, diving, and skiing.

In his youth he entertained tourists at Lake Coeur d’Alene diving for quarters from the high dive on the dock.

He was a standout on football and basketball teams from his childhood through college.

Through his many summers off as a school teacher, Lou taught literally hundreds how to swim at the local pool.

Lou loved skiing!

He began with his young children at the Squilchuck ski area, then skied whenever and wherever he could until he was 85!

“If I could just do one thing,” he recently said, “I’d like to go skiing again!

In 1948, he became Coach Boni at Tonasket High School where he taught and coached just about everything.

In 1953, his football team went undefeated and was named State B Champions.

Coach Boni left Tonasket to join the staff of the brand new Eastmont High School in 1955.

With his 1961 Wildcats he earned a second Washington State Football championship.

While in East Wenatchee, he spent several summers back at Whitworth getting his Masters Degree in Kinesiology.

Accepting an administrative position in 1963, Coach Boni moved his family to Marysville, WA.

hoping to work his coaching magic once again.

And though wins on the field were hard to come by, Coach Boni’s positive influence was felt throughout the district for the next 20 years.

Following his years of coaching, Lou remained active in the district swimming program and Special Olympics.

Lou retired in 1982.

Even then, he volunteered in Rene’s fifth grade Tulalip classroom, teaching PE to cover levy failure cuts.

Lou served as president of the Washington State High School Coaches Association in 1964-65.

And in 1979, in only its second year, was inducted into the Washington State Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

Coach Boni was honored again as a member of the Eastmont High School Athletic Hall of Fame Inaugural Class of 2014.

Lou was a much loved, admired, and enthusiastic grandpa; always ready to teach, join in, support, and cheer.

He leaves behind his six grandchildren; Heidi Stone, Erica Boni Lerer (Evan Lerer), Lauren Christophersen, Erin Boni, Steven Boni (Kate Brindley Boni), and Cody Christophersen.

Grandpa Lou taught them well — do your best, have fun, and always do what’s right even if no one is watching you.

In addition to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Lou is survived by his son-in-law, Sally’s husband, Dennis Christophersen, his nephews Joe and Bill Destefano, family-in-law Glenn, Bernice, and Dolly Carlson.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Rene Boni, brothers, Joe, Ollie, and Bill Boni, sisters, Laura Faraca and Frances Destefano.

Thank you to all of Lou’s friends and family that kept him entertained with visits and phone calls these past few years.

We are especially grateful to our dear friend Conny for caring for him as family.

We know it made a difference!

Lou Boni was special — every single person that knew him felt that!

He made each of us feel like we were the most important person, maybe even his favorite!

The world was so lucky to have him for 97 1/2 years!

Such integrity, such grace, so much talent packed into such a humble and loving 5‘7” frame!

In the early morning hours of January 1, 2016, peacefully he left us to be with his true love - though we’re pretty sure on his way, he joined his grandson for just one more run down the snowy mountain.

We will be missing him like crazy!

XOXO, Lou Boni, Love you HUGE!

We appreciate the thoughtful comments we have received since January 1st, and encourage all who knew our dad to visit to share thoughts and memories with us.

We hope to have a celebration of our parent’s lives this summer.