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Valerie Granstra

VALERIE J. (BONZ) GRANSTRA, 79 PECATONICA - Beloved wife to the late Frank C. Granstra; wonderful mother to Cameria (Neil) Granstra-Pereira; loving sister to brother Gary Bonz; adoring daughter to departed parents George and Edna (Swett) Bonz; and dear friend to many, Valerie J. Granstra (nee Bonz), 79, of Pecatonica, died peacefully surrounded by family on Friday, September 12, 2014. Born May 22, 1935, in Onaway, Mich. where she spent her childhood; graduating from Onaway High School. Valerie attended Alma College in Alma, MI., graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education; teaching in San Bernardino, CA. She married Frank C. Granstra on June 24, 1961 in Harbor Springs, MI. Valerie and Frank were Peace Corps volunteers in Malaysia in the mid-1960s. They eventually made the village of Pecatonica their home for nearly 50 years, where she embraced her community as an active volunteer: Brownie and Girl Scout leader; frequent election-poll worker; serving on the Board of the Sumner Park District; Friends of the Pecatonica Library; Pecatonica Women's Club; Pecatonica Garden Club; and with her husband, helped create the 5k Crooked River Run/Walk held each Memorial Day weekend. Valerie was most at home while out in nature and was enthusiastic about watching wildlife that frequented her yard, and championing environmental concerns. She found much enjoyment from gardening; took great delight in cooking (especially baking); was an avid reader of many subjects; had tremendous pleasure in traveling with her husband; visiting with her neighbors and friends; and dog sitting her daughter's Rhodesian Ridgebacks, aka the 'grand-dogs.' Formal services will not be held. A memorial will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct 5, at the Pecatonica Library, 400 West 11th Street, Pecatonica, IL. Contributions are welcomed to or organization, or donations made in her name to any of the following: Pecatonica Library, 400 West 11th Street, Pecatonica, IL 61013; Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Rd., Rockford, IL, 61102; or, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, 426 Bay Street, Petoskey, MI 49770.
Published in Rockford Register Star from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 2014
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