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Bonnie Gilbertson, 69

Bonnie Gilbertson passed peacefully in her home March 21, 2021.
Bonnie Joy Wilmer was born June 11, 1951, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Drayton, N.D., as a preemie to Ralph and Mabel Wilmer. She grew up in Teien Township, Kittson County, on their family farm. Bonnie was actively involved in youth activities at the Teien Covenant Church. She attended Drayton public school in first grade, and the Minnesota kids then were sent to Kennedy High School. Her dad was the bus driver, so she was always the first one on and the last one off, and had the honors of sweeping the bus every night. She was active in various groups in high school. She was also active in the Plainview 4-H club, went to state 4-H with Share the Fun, style show and demonstration.
After graduating high school, she went to Covenant Bible College. The next year she attended Bemidji State University majoring in elementary education graduating in May of 1974.
The first time she went to InterVarsity she met the love of her life, Gary. They dated in their senior year. When he returned from the peace corps in Ethiopia, he asked Bonnie to marry him. They got married on Dec. 21, 1974 at the Kennedy Covenant Church.
From 1974 to 1978, Bonnie taught second grade and Gary in special education at the Lancaster Public School. In 1978, they moved to Bemidji, Minn., where they have been ever since. She had a wonderful career working at First National Bank. She loved her job as a bank teller. She loved her fellow employees and they loved her.
She and Gary have four wonderful children: Nathan (married to Rebecca, children Caleb, Carson and Claire); Benjamin (married to Gina, children Zack and Brooke); Daniel (married to Melissa, children Silas and Dove) and Sarah.
Bonnie homeschooled the kids until they went to Bemidji High School. She was a Sunday school teacher when they attended Christian Life Fellowship. She meticulously ran the church library and sang in the choir when they attended Evangelical Covenant Church. Gary and Bonnie found their spiritual home at Mt. Zion where she enjoyed singing with Gary.
Bonnie was an avid photographer. She began taking pictures in the fifth grade with a four-bulb flash camera. She created many pictorial collages highlighting the history of her family.
She loved baking all sorts of cookies and sweet treats for numerous potlucks, volleyball games and fellowship singing.
Bonnie is also survived by her sister: Arlene ‘Willy’ (husband Rick) Duff, nieces, and nephews.
She was preceded by: sisters, Marlys and Iona; brother, John; and parents, Ralph and Mabel.
All those who were blessed to know Bonnie knew there was the right way, the wrong way and the Bonnie Gilbertson way!
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Mt. Zion Church, 414 Lincoln Ave SE, Bemidji.
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