Bonita L. (Keel) Thomsen was born on a farm in Iowa on April 10, 1928 and died at North Care Hospice House on August 18, 2017, at the age of 89. Bonnie graduated from high school in Ogden, Iowa, then worked as an executive secretary at Iowa State University in Ames. As a young girl, Bonnie was already building friendships that would follow her throughout her long life: she attended high school reunions through the 70th anniversary of the class, and Bonnie and nine other co-workers from Iowa State formed a “Round Robin” circuit and circle of friends that endured all their lives, through letter-writing and group vacations.
Bonnie met the love of her life, Jim, at Iowa State and they were married July 24, 1949. The couple lived in Carroll, Iowa where their children Jocelyn and John were born, and later moved to Kansas City when Jim was promoted to the Farmland Industries headquarters. For seventeen years, Bonnie worked as the secretary at the West Englewood Elementary School, where her typing talent was exceeded only by her tender skills in treating scraped elbows and skinned knees. Bonnie had to learn to drive for the first time when she went to work, and she proudly – though cautiously – navigated the three-mile commute to school in her new 1981 Mustang.
The family loved their summer camping trips to 48 states, and later Bonnie and Jim would add Alaska and Hawaii, along with Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico, Europe, Scandinavia, Tahiti, Australia, and New Zealand to their travel map. For many years, the couple also enjoyed the luxury of leaving snowy Kansas City winters by joining other friends and family as regular “Snow Birds” in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Bonnie was renowned as a champion bridge player; she belonged to no less than three bridge clubs, and was constantly in demand as a sub for a pick-up game - when other players were willing to lose their nickels. Bonnie was a loyal Royals and Jayhawk basketball fan, and she was hard to beat in any game of sports trivia about either team. Bonnie was also an exceptional letter-writer and card-sender; she never missed a friend’s birthday and kept Hallmark funded during holidays and during the years she would write and mail over 100 Christmas cards. Bonnie and Jim have been active members of Holy Cross Lutheran Church since 1961 and served on the “Fun Time Travelers” committee there, planning and enjoying day trips to Branson and the delightful Chicken and Pickin’. Bonnie and Jim celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary on July 24, 2017, with dinner out and dancing at home.
Bonnie was always proud to talk about her four grandsons, Patrick and Travis Thomsen, both of Kansas City, Moebius Simmons, of Brooklyn, New York, and Shane Silverstein, of Boston, Massachusetts. She is also survived by her husband, Jim Thomsen, of Gladstone, son John and his wife Therese Thomsen, and daughter Jocelyn and her husband Jay Silverstein.
Services will be held on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church at 2003 Northeast Englewood Road, Kansas City, Missouri. Visitation with family will begin at 9:30 AM, followed by funeral rites at 11:00 AM and burial at Terrace Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to North Care Hospice. Share online condolences at TerraceParkFuneral.com.