April 25, 2012 | LXXII, No. 4

Music maker retires

Bonnie Wendt, who has taught piano in the area for generations, presented her last class in recital Sunday at the Coulee Dam Community Church, more than 50 years after giving her first lesson at the age of 16.

Bonnie Wendt, left, poses with her students after Saturday’s recital. From left they are, in the top row: Tanya Ang, Areielle White, Emily Rice, Kelsie Olbricht and Jonell Denchell; in the lower row, from left: Maeha Piturachsatit, Ellie Hansen, Addison Hansen and Mikayla Higgins. More photos of the recital are available online. — Scott Hunter photo

“I taught the Everett children every Saturday,” she recalled of those first pupils, just after Sunday’s recital with her last nine students.

Wendt taught Siam Palace owner Cheril Piturachsatit to play and Saturday presented her granddaughter Maeha, beginning with a duet with Wendt.

Piturachsatit has played for her church for many years, which she told Wendt has been extremely important to her.

Wendt said she would hold one more recital with her eighth-grade students this summer.

She and her husband, Chuck Wendt, who served the community for decades in the Elmer City fire department, have sold their home and moved to Kennewick.

Bonnie Wendt, left, poses with her students after Saturday’s recital. From left they are, in the top row: Tanya Ang, Areielle White, Emily Rice, Kelsie Olbricht and Jonell Denchell; in the lower row, from left: Maeha Piturachsatit, Ellie Hansen, Addison Hansen and Mikayla Higgins. More photos of the recital are available online. — Scott Hunter photo

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