Alice Mae Giles passed away Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, at Terwilliger Plaza in Portland, Ore., just shy of her 90th birthday.
Alice was born in Spokane, the eldest daughter of Dr. Joseph and Helen Wilson. She was raised in Moscow where she attended the University of Idaho, majoring in pre-med. Her plans were changed when she met and married Dr. William Bonnington in 1951. Alice and William had four boys and adopted a daughter before divorcing in 1963. She was remarried to Dr. Kenneth Giles in 1964 and had two additional sons.
During the nearly 50 years she lived in Lake Oswego, Ore., she was deeply involved (along with her husband) in supporting youth athletics. In the ’70s and ’80s, she lived on and managed a small farm on the outskirts of Lake Oswego, raising a wide variety of animals. She boarded horses, milked her cow daily and had an assortment of chickens, geese, turkeys, goats, pigs, cats and, of course, dogs. Her dog, “Kacki,” was her constant companion when she transitioned to Terwilliger Plaza in July 2013.
Alice was an extraordinary woman, always known for her warm, caring and upbeat personality. She loved to fish and visit the lakes of British Columbia, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The family still tells “fish stories” of her exploits at HiHium Lake in Canada. If there was a family fishing contest, she was sure to catch the most or the biggest fish. She loved spending time with her family at Priest Lake in Idaho, soaking up the sun, enjoying the amazing scenery and devouring fresh huckleberries.
She was also an effortless and exceptional cook. She loved to make meals for her family and friends. Famous for her roast beef, mashed potato and gravy dinners followed by fresh-baked apple pie, she’d squeeze the entire family into her small home and be in her glory. Having raised six boys and a girl, no group was too large. The more guests, the merrier.
Alice was a passionate traveler, often packing her bags weeks in advance. She loved to explore new places and cultures and was fortunate to have a son (Steve) who was an airline pilot and helped her travel throughout the world on family vacations. She visited Vietnam with her son Michael to meet his new bride’s family. She was always up for new adventures and different cultural experiences. She was also an avid seamstress, sewing, quilting or teaching her family members the lost art. Alice loved to play cards and board games like bridge or Scrabble, frequently visiting her children to play and enjoy laughter and a good meal.
Alice’s greatest gift, however, was her capacity to give. Whenever a family member or friend was in need, Alice was there to provide a roof over their head or a warm meal. She wouldn’t hesitate to give all she had to help someone in need of help or comfort. Alice will be greatly missed.
Alice is survived by her brothers, Gregg Wilson, Jacob Wilson and John Wilson; and her children Steve Bonnington, Jeff Bonnington, Bill Bonnington, Judith Bonnington, Mike Giles and Rick Giles; as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by both husbands; her oldest son, Dr. Gerald Bonnington; and her younger sister, Velma Lemon.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. April 13, 2022, at Terwilliger Plaza in Portland. She will be buried in Moscow alongside her parents per her wishes. Condolences may be left at with Crown Memorial Centers at bit.ly/30YBmcP.