The People:
Bonnie Willis Ford

Bonnie Willis (1907-1976), daughter of Henry and Adeline Willis, was a young student at the Appalachian School when Lucy Morgan arrived at Penland in 1920. Accompanied by Lucy, Bonnie left Penland in 1923 to attend high school in Berea, Kentucky.  She returned around 1930 with her husband, Howard C. “Toni” Ford and spent the rest of her life serving Penland School of Crafts – first as Lucy Morgan’s assistant and later as Bill Brown’s.  Lucy described Bonnie as “Penland’s Rock of Gibraltar” and Bill Brown once wrote, “Bonnie did most of the work and we seemed to receive most of the honor.”