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Nancy Ann (Gebhardt) Bonser

January 15, 2014
Special to the Reporter (sancapnews@breezenewspapers.com) , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Nancy Ann (Gebhardt) Bonser, 80, of Sanibel, Fla., and Bloomington, Ind., passed away. She was born Sept. 30, 1933 in Springfield, Ohio, the daughter of Carl and Edna Gebhardt.

She graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1955 with a major in Education and Speech Therapy, and was active in her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. Growing up with a love of dance, Nancy continued dancing in college, performing in several Bowling Green modern dance productions.

On July 3, 1955 she married Charles F. Bonser. Early in their marriage Nancy taught Speech Therapy in North Carolina, Louisiana, and Texas while Charles was in the Air Force. In 1959 they moved to Bloomington, Ind. In Bloomington, she turned her love and energy to raising their children while also volunteering in the community and in the local schools. She especially enjoyed her work with special needs children in the schools.

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Nancy was also an important partner and support for Charles during his years as professor and dean at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), hosting many events for the school as well as visitors from around the world at their home, always with her bright smile. She was particularly involved with supporting the many programs the school conducted internationally.

Nancy enjoyed her time traveling the world with friends and family, always eager to see new places and meet new people. She also took time volunteering in the local schools while living in Australia, England, and France. Her favorite spot to relax, however, was Sanibel, which she and Charles first visited in 1965, and bought a home in 1974. On Sanibel she enjoyed tap dancing, biking and attending performances at the BIG ARTS. She was a member of PEO, active in her church and a volunteer at the BIG ARTS. One of her greatest joys and blessings was being a grandmother to her four grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Charles F. Bonser of Sanibel, Fla., and Bloomington, Ind.; her daughter Catherine (Rob) Neal of Carmel, Ind.; her son Andrew (Heather) Bonser of Greenwood, Ind.; and her grandchildren Matt Neal, Meagan Neal, Emily Bonser and Jordan Bonser; her brother Carl (Sheila) Gebhardt of Duarte, Calif..

She is preceded in death by her parents, son Jeffrey Aaron Bonser and brother Richard Gebhardt.

Nancy's beautiful smile and generous heart will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Celebration of Life Ceremonies will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2013 at 3 p.m. at The Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ with a reception following at the Sanibel Community House, and on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Indiana University Foundation in Bloomington, Ind., at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to any of the following organizations important to Nancy: The Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, 2050 Periwinkle Way Sanibel, Fla. 33957 or The Barrier Island Group of the Arts (BIG ARTS) 900 Dunlop Rd, Sanibel, Fla. 33957.

 
 

 

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