Ainsworth — Bonita "Bonnie" Claire Welke, 76, of Ainsworth, formerly of Ewing, died Monday, March 7, 2022 at the Brown County Hospital in Ainsworth.
Visitation was held Saturday, March 12, 2022 at the United Methodist-Presbyterian Church in Ewing.
Funeral services were held Saturday, March 12, 2022 at the church in Ewing. Pastor Janene Reynolds officiated.
Burial was in the Ewing City Cemetery in Ewing.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill was in charge of the arrangements.
Bonita, the youngest of four children born to Leland “Andy” and Sibyl (Jefferies) Welke, was born on April 15, 1945 in Ewing. Bonnie was baptized into Christ at the Methodist Church in Ewing on Sunday, Dec. 12, 1947. As a child of God, she publicly confessed her faith and became a confirmed member of the United Methodist Church in Ewing on Sunday, April 10, 1960.
Bonnie received her education at the Ewing Public Schools, graduating in May of 1963. She was the recipient of the Citizenship Award presented to a graduating senior.
During her youth, Bonnie attended the Ewing Methodist Sunday School as a pupil. As she entered high school, she became a Sunday School teacher. She held this position for eleven years. She also was a Bible School teacher for six years and served as a MYF leader for six years. Later in life, Bonnie served on the Ewing United Methodist Church Administrative Board and served several years as a trustee. She served on the Pastor Parish Committee in addition to serving on the Worship Committee for 14 years. Bonnie was an active member of the church choir for many years both as a youth and adult.
She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Ewing and after moving to Neligh in the fall of 2007, she became a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Neligh.
Bonnie was a 10-year member of the 4-H Club program in Holt County, an organization she really enjoyed and continued to take an active part in during most of her lifetime.
She was employed at KB Market in Ewing as a senior in high school until she became office manager at the University of Nebraska Extension Office (Antelope County) in Neligh. She held this position from September 1965 until January 2013. During her 48 years with the Extension Office, she was the recipient of many awards for her dedicated work.
Her position as office manager at the Extension Office consisted of a variety of duties, her favorite being the 4-H youth program. She furnished trophies, sponsored youth to several 4-H camps and other events for many years in Antelope County as well as being one of the co-sponsors of a sewing machine that was given annually at the Antelope County Fair.
Other county-/state-wide organizations she worked with during her career were the Livestock Feeders Association, Pork Producers Association, Corn Growers Association, Antelope County Agricultural Society, Extension Clubs (FCE Clubs), Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the County and State Holstein Associations as well as the Elgin Days Livestock Show.
Bonnie enjoyed traveling and visited many interesting places. She especially enjoyed her trips to Europe, Alaska and Washington D.C. She was an avid University of Nebraska Cornhusker fan – both girls' volleyball as well as the football team, having tickets for many years. “Go Huskers!”
In January of 2013, Bonnie had a health setback and to recuperate, she moved to Cottonwood Villa Assisted Living in Ainsworth. She enjoyed the companionship so much she stayed there until her passing. Many great friends were made there, both with other residents and staff.
Bonnie is survived by one brother Milan (Ruth) Welke of Ewing; one sister-in-law Charlene Welke of Lawton, OK; five nieces Pam (Tom) Theis of Johnstown, LeeAnn (John) Kester of Clearwater, Nancy (John) Thies of Winside, Debbie Wilson of Chickasha, OK and Eunice Bennett of Bartow, FL; five nephews Tim (Beth) Welke of Battle Creek, Bruce (Peggy) Welke of Yukon, OK, Carl (Debbie) Welke of Ardmore, OK, Jesse White of Chickasha, OK and Rick Rodgers of Lincoln; and a host of other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Andy Welke in 1983 and Sibyl Welke in 2005; one brother Robert Welke in 2003; one sister Jeanne (Harold) Rodgers in 2005; paternal grandparents Edwin (Harriet) Welke; maternal grandparents Rod (Edna) Jefferies; and special loved ones Haggerty, Rumples, Chester and Isabeau.