September 21, 2020

Bonnie Ruth (Baken) Mutter

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Bonnie Ruth (Baken) Mutter passed away passed on August 24, 2020 surrounded by her loved ones after a brief illness. She was best known as “Miss Bonnie” on Romper Room in the 50’s & 60’s. She was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1931 to Irving and Hilda (Klein) Baken.

At age 3 she began her career as a model at L. Bamberger Department Store in Newark. In 1939 she performed at the World’s Fair in American Jubilee. She appeared in numerous commercial films and on radio. Bonnie appeared with Gertrude Lawrence in Lady In The Dark on Broadway and on its National Tour. She acted in several TV Series, including Kraft Theatre, Henry Aldrich, and Mixed Doubles.

In 1949 she married Joseph Riker, Jr and moved to RI. As one of the pioneering women in RI broadcasting, she educated preschoolers state wide as Miss Bonnie on Romper Room on Channel 12.

Continuing her love of the theatre, she joined The Players, a community theatre group in Providence. She starred in numerous roles, including Guys & Dolls (Miss Adelaide), Bus Stop (Cherie), and Luv (Ellen). Behind the scenes she enjoyed working as stage manager, tech chair, and producer. Her last acting role was her favorite, Melissa in Love Letters opposite John Mutter, whom she married later that year.

She raised a number of purebred dogs, many of whom became champions. She was a member of the Providence County Kennel Club, where she served as Vice-President for many years.

Bonnie always showed a keen interest in people and their lives. She would readily strike up conversations any time and any place. Her good friends were treated as members of her family.

Bonnie was the widow of the Honorable Judge John A. Mutter. She is survived by her loving daughter, Kathy Riker and Kathy’s fiancé, Bob Dufresne and her beloved Yorkie, Sweeney.

Due to current conditions, the funeral service will be private. Donations in her memory may be made to either The Players -400 Benefit St. Providence, RI 02903 or NEADS Service Dogs PO Box 1100 Princeton, MA 01541 (NEADS.ORG)

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