Karen Kay Bonta, 71, of rural Fort Madison, IA, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 13, 2017 in Arizona, the result of a car accident while enjoying a morning walk with her husband, Bob. She was born on October 19, 1946 in Keokuk, IA to Carrel & Leona Meeker Bruder and was raised by Carrel & Helen Leona Bruder.
Karen graduated from Morris IL community high school in 1964 then attended Culver Stockton College where she acquired a degree in business education. Karen joined the Chi Omega sorority during her time at college and met the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Lee Bonta. Karen and Bob were wed on July 29, 1967 in Morris, IL 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, Illinois. Karen retired as a guidance counselor at Fort Madison High School and Fort Madison Junior High. After retirement, Karen enjoyed playing the piano at the 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, Arizona, 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 MN and her siblings Kent McCormick (Holde) of Germany, John (Lynn) Bruder of St. Paul MN, and Barb (Roger) Rogotzke of Sleepy Eye MN. 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; Olivia, Madisen, Dexter, and Stella, children of Amy and Nic. Karen is preceded in death by her mother Leona Meeker Bruder, and her father Carrell Bruder.
Friends may call after 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018 with the family to receive friends from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening at the First Christian Church, 608 10th Street, Fort Madison, IA 52627. The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at the First Christian Church with Rev. John Simpson officiating. Burial will be held at Claypoole Cemetery in rural Wever, IA. A memorial has been established in Karen’s memory. Online condolences and a video tribute of Bob & Karen’s lives may be viewed at the King-Lynk Funeral Home & Crematory website: www.kinglynk.com. King-Lynk Funeral Home & Crematory in Fort Madison, IA is assisting the family with the arrangements.