Bonnie Bowsman Sponberg, age 78, passed away after a long fight with cancer on Monday, February 13, 2023, at her home in Valparaiso, Indiana. Bonnie is survived by her children, John Harold, of Valparaiso, Indiana, and Erica Sponberg of Indianapolis, Indiana, and her grand-dog Coconut. She is also survived by her brothers, John D Bowsman (Sandra), Thomas (Phyllis), and Randall (Faye) and her in-laws Mary Pedley (John), Eric Sponberg (Arliss Ryan), Ingrid Stafford (William), and Karl Sponberg (Carmen Rasmussen). She is also survived by her beloved nieces and nephews and their families, including children of her husband’s siblings: Tanya, Ashley, Alexander, Adam, Christopher, Duncan, Kira, Dane, Sven and Will. She is preceded in death by her dear husband and soulmate, Arvid (Gus) who passed away in 2013 after 41 years of marriage; her parents John and Ruth Bowsman.
Bonnie was born on January 25, 1945, in Hillsdale, Michigan to parents John and Ruth Bowsman. She graduated from Western Michigan University with bachelor’s in sociology and physical education and master’s degrees in Counseling and Personnel Services. Bonnie had a wide range of professional and life experiences that were defined by her love of family, friends, travel and confidence in her ability to master any art and area of knowledge to which she applied herself. She was an educator and school counselor, a family therapist, a stockbroker, a champion tai-kwon do master in her age group, an expert in macrobiotic cooking, a volunteer for SCORE helping individuals start new businesses, a Kundalini yoga instructor, a distance biker, and daily walker until her recent illness.
Bonnie was highly engaged with Valparaiso University since 1972 when she and her husband Gus moved to the community as Gus joined the department of English faculty. She also was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, in its choirs, social action work, and adult forums. Through Valparaiso, she had the opportunity to travel to Cambridge, England, Ireland, China, Japan, among other places. She was a dedicated and loyal friend to many people, and a force of nature to her family – always seeking that they become the best versions of themselves and proud of their accomplishments, talents and love.
A funeral is scheduled for Saturday, February 18 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Valparaiso, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. and a luncheon to follow. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bonnie’s life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations can be sent for the benefit of the Arvid F Sponberg Scholarship Fund for the Department of English at Valparaiso University.
My most sincere condolences to you all. Bonnie was an amazing lady, always full of positive energy and wisdom. She will not be forgotten; her legacy will live on. May her beautiful soul rest in eternal peace. -Mami Matsuda, Juna & Haynen Matsuda-Johnson
Oh Bonnie the world without you is very grey & a little boring … but Heaven will be all the brighter… we lived as soulmates for your 6 months in the UK & you took me over every square inch of London… with Gus & the students our lives were enriched by theatre..we even played out a bit of Hamlet on the stage of the Globe.. peanut butter & homemade jelly sandwiches eaten in many a coffeehouse as we pursued adventure! Up at dawn to walk & check out a few skips…fun meals in each others home… you came & left like a whirlwind & I was enriched! Good night dear friend. -Ann Sims