Who Was Bonnie Laettner, Christian Laettner Mom? Neck Brace & Death

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Bonita Turkowski Laettner is Christian Laettner’s mom. She passed away in 2017 at the age of 74.

The death of Bonnie Laettner saddened a lot of people, including their family and friends. 

She took her last breath on November 26, 2017, in her winter home in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The cause of her death remains unknown.

The mother-son duo seemingly had a close bond throughout her lifetime.

Bonnie was a celebrity of her own during her son’s peaking career at Duke University during the 1990s.

Christian Laettner, A Former Basketball Player
Christian Laettner, A Former Basketball Player (Source: Twitter)

Christian Laettner was a former professional American basketball player. Many people consider his time as a Duke Blue Devil to be among the greatest in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) history.

Born on 17 August 1969 in Angola, New York, to parents George Laettner and Bonnie Laettner, he is the second child among 4 children. 

Christian Laettner’s Mother: Bonnie Laettner

Bonnie Laettner was born on April 23, 1943, in Toronto, Ontario, to parents of Polish and Ukrainian heritage.

She and her brother moved to Buffalo with their mother in 1950 after her father left for the Spanish Army during the Second World War.

Christian’s mother worked as a dictation clerk in the city room at The Buffalo Evening News, where she met her husband, George Laettner.

The couple married in February 1964 and birthed 4 children, including Christian and his older brother, Christopher.

After the family moved to Angola, Bonnie worked as a teacher at Lake Shore Central School District till 1974 and Farnham Elementary School until 1998.

Bonnie And Christian Relationship

Christian’s biggest cheerleader, his mother Bonnie, had been a major part of Christian’s career. She pushed him into Nicholas School, where he did Janitorial duties during the summer to afford his tuition.

Despite Bonnie’s deliberate efforts to steer him towards other options, Christian eventually secured a full scholarship to Duke.

Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke coach, quickly won her over. Bonnie and George would go to their son’s games on Saturday and Sunday.

Bonnie Laettner, The Mother of Christian Laettner
Bonnie Laettner, The Mother of Christian Laettner (Source: Twitter)

During games, TV cameras followed her reactions in the stands. She was quoted by reporters a lot.

The star player’s mom even accompanied him to Spain to watch him be a part of the U.S. Dream Team during the 1992 Olympics. 

Bonnie became so popular among the fans that they mobbed her while leaving for Sunday church service in 1992 after the legendary Duke-Kentucky game in the finals.

There was a time when she attended a Duke game wearing a neck brace, having undergone vertebrae fusion in her neck. But this did not stop her from going to court to support her son.

Three decades post-surgery, she is no longer with us. Was this the factor contributing to her death? It remains uncertain. We’ll need to await the mourning family’s decision to disclose the cause of her passing.

Some Interesting Facts About Bonnie And Her Family

Christian’s mother was a firm devotee of a saint for years, whom she prayed to throughout the game.

Bonnie also enjoyed flower gardening, playing board games, and visiting the beaches.

Similarly, she spent almost ten years of her retirement with her spouse in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, before relocating to South Carolina.

Bonnie Laettner in Neck Brace
Bonnie Laettner In a Neck Brace In Kentucky VS Duke Regional Finals (Source: Twitter)

Published on the “Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul” and “Chocolate for a Woman’s Courage”, she has written a few pieces about her family’s experiences.

Every winter, they used to take a timeshare vacation to the Bahamas for a few weeks.

Kriti Adhikari
Kriti Adhikari

Kriti Adhikari

Kriti Adhikari is a dynamic writer with a passion for uncovering the human stories behind the world of sports. Her articles offer readers a refreshing perspective on athletes and sporting events, blending insightful analysis with engaging storytelling.


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  • Kriti highlights the drama, excitement, and memorable moments that define each tournament.
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Kriti's passion for sports journalism is rooted in a love of competition and a fascination with the human stories behind athletic achievement. With a background in writing and a keen eye for detail, she brings a unique perspective to her articles, capturing the excitement and emotion of sports with depth and insight.

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