LaVonne "Bonnie" E. Boelman
Belmond, IA - LaVonne "Bonnie" E. Boelman, age 93, most recently a resident of the Solon Care Facility, Solon, IA, entered her heavenly home on June 6, 2019 at the age of 93.
Bonnie was the 10th of 11 children of Jacob and Rosa (Pals) Dorenkamp. She excelled in basketball and softball at Meservey High School and graduated in 1943, then going to Chicago to work in a war plant making parts for the B-17 bomber. She remembered it as “a great experience.”
She married Benjamin Boelman in 1945. Shortly after marriage she was offered a scholarship to AIB in DesMoines to play basketball but turned it down.
Bonnie was the ultimate “people person.” “I truly love helping and taking care of others,” she said. These words were displayed throughout her lifetime. Bonnie drove school bus -- a job she held for 25 years often including two generations of children. Bonnie said, ‘I loved seeing all the children.” She enjoyed fishing with her husband, loved making quilts for her children and grandchildren, crafts and embroidered many tea towels for family and friends.
After her husband passed in 1984, she worked at Unisys (manufacturing plant) for 10 years in Clear Lake Iowa, and then took classes as a Nurses Aid and Hospice caregiver. She volunteered for Hospice Care for many people in the surrounding communities and called it her “first love” and deeply rewarding. Bonnie also loved politics and was the Mayor of Meservey for 12 years, starting in 1990. During her tenure, the citizens voted to build a park with a gazebo and put in a city sewer system. She would often remark, “To this day, I still love politics!”
Bonnie has been a member of First Reformed Church all of her life, and active in the RCW group since 1952, “I talk to my Savior all of the time,” always telling others “Be thankful for each day because you are not promised tomorrow.”
In 2004, Bonnie moved to Belmond to live in a retirement apartment and at the encouragement of her family, Bonnie moved into the Family Living Center in North Liberty in 2012. She enjoyed being “close to family and sharing in their lives.” While in Belmond, she traded in her car for a new set of wheels (scooter) and put many miles on the bike paths of both Belmond and North Liberty enjoying the outdoors, visiting with others. Bonnie has five Grandchildren and 13 Great-grandchildren with a Great-Great-granddaughter on the way,
She is survived by her two daughters, Roberta “Robbie” (Terry) Donahue, and Rebecca “Becky” (Sheldon) Schroeder both of North Liberty. Grandchildren include, Jason (Kristie) Donahue of Zimmerman, MN, Heather (Travis) Skiba of Plainfield, IL, Melissa (George) Meints of Iowa City, Aaron (Brandy) Schroeder, and Seth (Erin) Schroeder of North Liberty. Great-Grandchildren include Alexandra Donahue, Kaitlyn Mason, Peyton, Ryan, and Brayden Skiba, Nathan (Fiancé- Janel Andersen), Brittany (Josh) Scheffert, Noah Meints, Brett, McKenna, and Trey Schroeder and Jordan and Emmy Schroeder.
Bonnie was the lone surviving member of her immediate family. She was preceded in death by husband Ben, sisters: Nettie Watermiller, Martha Heykants, Ethel Dorenkamp, Luella Boelman, Ruth Suntken, Marie Schott and Leona Lieberknecht, brothers: Lewis, Lester and Robert Dorenkamp.
Funeral services will be 10 AM, Monday, June 10, 2019, at the First Reformed Church of Meservey. The Reverend Rodney Meester will be officiating. Burial will be in the Meservey Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-6 PM Sunday at the Andrews Funeral Home, 516 1st Street S.E., Belmond, and will continue one hour prior to the services at church Monday. Andrews Funeral Home, Belmond, IA, (641) 444-4474, www.andrewsfuneralhomeandfloral.com.
Memorials are suggested to First Reformed Church of Meservey, or Hospice, or donor's choice.