Karen Kay Bonta, 71, of rural Fort Madison, died unexpectedly Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Arizona, the result of a car accident while enjoying a morning walk with her husband, Bob.
She was born Oct. 19, 1946, in Keokuk, to Carrel and Leona Meeker Bruder and was raised by Carrel and Helen Leona Bruder.
Karen graduated from Morris, Ill., community high school in 1964, then attended Culver-Stockton College where she acquired a degree in business education. Karen joined Chi Omega sorority during her time at college and met the love of her life, Robert Lee "Bob" Bonta. Karen and Bob were wed on July 29, 1967, in Morris, while both were attending graduate school at Western Illinois University. With her graduate degree as an education counselor, Karen began her career teaching business in Dallas City, Ill. Karen retired as a guidance counselor at Fort Madison High School and Fort Madison Junior High.
After retirement, Karen enjoyed playing the piano at First Christian Church, study club, being a member of the Red Hat Society and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Karen and Bob enjoyed traveling the globe with their close friends and family. In addition to spending the last several winters in Fountain Hills, Ariz., they had visited Africa, China, South America, Antarctica, Australia, Egypt, Alaska, Europe, Caribbean and Mexico.
Karen's priority was being a great wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. Family and friends looked forward to her ham balls, chocolate chip cookies and apple dumplings. She was an avid lover of jewelry and "cute things." One of her favorite things to do was sharing her immense knowledge of jewelry with her granddaughters. Karen and Bob traveled extensively to attend their grandchildren's activities including sporting events, musical performances and stage plays. Karen would light up a room within minutes of entering with her positivity and generosity of spirit.
Karen is survived by her mother, Helen Bruder of St. Paul, Minn., and her siblings, Kent McCormick (Holde) of Germany, John (Lynn) Bruder of St. Paul and Barb (Roger) Rogotzke of Sleepy Eye, Minn. She is also survived by her three children, Grant (Amy) Bonta, Barb (Jeff) Snyder and Amy (Nic) Ferin. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Carter, Chandler and Camden, children of Grant and Amy; Harrison, Alexa and Ainsley, children of Barb and Jeff; and Olivia, Madisen, Dexter and Stella, children of Amy and Nic.
Karen was preceded in death by her mother, Leona Meeker Bruder, and her father, Carrell Bruder.
SERVICES: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at First Christian Church, 608 10th St., Fort Madison, with the Rev. John Simpson conducting. Burial will be in Claypoole Cemetery in rural Wever.
VISTATION: After 3 p.m. Friday, March 23, with family present 4 to 7 p.m., at First Christian Church.
MEMORIALS: A memorial has been established in Karen's memory.
ARRANGEMENTS: King-Lynk Funeral Home and Crematory, Fort Madison.
Condolences may be expressed online at whig.com
Published by Herald-Whig from Mar. 21 to Mar. 23, 2018.