Bonnie Sturm 1929 - 2021 Bonnie Sturm, beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, friend and neighbor, passed away on February 18th. Bonnie (Laura Carmelita Skahill) was born on January 12, 1929 to parents Thomas and Carmelita Skahill. Bonnie grew up on a farm in Imogene, Iowa with her seven brothers. Upon graduating from Farragut High School, Bonnie attended Ottumwa Heights College, a liberal arts women's college affiliated with the Catholic Church and run by the Sisters of Humility of Mary. In later years Bonnie continued her college education at Tarkio College and Northwest Missouri State University. Education was always important to Bonnie and this showed in her dedication as an elementary school teacher and proud mother of 7 college educated children and 15 grandchildren. Bonnie grew up riding horses and her horse-riding skills culminated in her becoming Rodeo Queen at the Sydney Rodeo in 1949. Also, in 1949, Bonnie met her future husband Paul Sturm who came to work for the railroad in Imogene, Iowa. The two were married in St. Patrick's Church of Imogene on June 21, 1950. Bonnie and Paul had seven children between the years 1951-1968. The family was raised in Shenandoah, Iowa where Bonnie lived until 2010. Shenandoah and Imogene were Bonnie's home and the places she yearned to visit after she left to live closer to her children first in Waukee, Iowa and then in Overland Park, Kansas. All through her life, Bonnie was widely known for her friendliness and helping hand. She was a devoted Catholic and instilled in her children a strong sense of social justice. Bonnie loved a good laugh, had a delightful sense of humor, and could be full of mischief. She loved dancing and Paul and Bonnie made quite the couple on the dance floor and in the Sturm living room during a Saturday night with Lawrence Welk on the TV set. In her senior living residence, she taught many to dance the polka. Bonnie was an amazing mother and grandmother and a wonderful aunt. Her home was filled with children and friends and family. It was a busy life raising children, working to make ends meet, raising a garden, taking care of family and friends. The kitchen was full of the warmth and comfort of home- cooking and baking and kids, family, and friends coming and going. Grabbing a homemade treat, having a cup of coffee and a chat. Bonnie had a green thumb and always had a garden that delighted neighbors and passersby. Many plant and garden transplants now flourish in her children's and neighbor's gardens. Her love of trees and birds, and the beauty and serenity of the outdoors, will be a lasting legacy. Bonnie had fifteen grandchildren who brought her such joy and pride. Going to Grandma Bonnie's house was a highlight for all her grandchildren. These grandchildren scattered across the US will carry the love and joy from their days spent with Grandma Bonnie. Later in life Bonnie had four great grandchildren and was blessed to have held and played with each of them. After her children had left home and started their own lives, Bonnie was an avid traveler - some for her work in sales, others with family and friends. Her travels took her to Ireland, and Venezuela (she was a big hit in Venezuela) and travels across the US - New England, Virginia, the West Coast, the Northwest, and throughout her beloved Midwest. Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents Thomas and Carmelita Skahill, her husband Paul, her brothers and sisters-in- law - Kenneth and Mary Lois, Gerald and Joyce, Jim, Pat, Jack and Arlene, Tommy and Kay, and Francis (Dutch), and nephew Denny. She is survived by her sisters-in-law Marie (Jim) and Marilyn (Francis) Skahill; her children --Deborah, Beth (Orlando), Roger, Teresa (Ralph), Maureen (Jim), Aimee (Joe), and Vince (Kris); her grandchildren Natascha, Nicolas T (Adrian), Zachary, Derek, Jacob, Joel, Erin (Leland), Megan, Danny, Nate, Noah, Nevin, Nicolas C, Alex, and Aaron, her great grandchildren, Finley, Julian, Cecilia, and Jalil; and many dear nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors. Bonnie your laughter, smile and love will be dearly missed. You will be in all our hearts forever. Mass of Christian Burial Services was held at 10:00 am Wednesday, February 24th at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Shenandoah, Iowa. Burial followed in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery. A celebration of life for Bonnie will be planned in the future when COVID restrictions allow. Memorials can be directed to the Arbor Day Foundation https://www.arborday.org/
; St Mary's Catholic Church, 512 W Thomas Ave, Shenandoah, IA 51601; and St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 304 3rd St., Imogene, Iowa, 51645, https://stpatrickchurchimogeneiowa.weebly.com/
. Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.hackettlivingston.com
. Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home was honored to have been entrusted with the arrangements.
Published by Shenandoah Valley News Today on Feb. 27, 2021.