Edith Elsie Bonsack died Friday, September 20, 2019 at Riverside Lodge in Grand Island. Memorial services will be 10 AM Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Island with Reverend Kelly Karges officiating. Burial will follow at Westlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Memorials are suggested to the Salvation Army or Food Bank for the Heartland.
Elsie was born Dec. 30, 1923 on the family farm outside Prosser, NE to Earl and Edith (Lomax) Fairbanks. She was the fourth child of 5, the oldest daughter. She went to grade school in Prosser and remembers riding in the back of a horse drawn wagon being rolled up in a carpet to keep her warm. Her family left the farm and moved to Wood River prior to her high school education. After graduating from Wood River High she attended business school. On February 7, 1942 she married Herb Bonsack. They lived in western Nebraska for several years while Herb worked for the railroad. In 1950 they moved back to rural Wood River. While Herb farmed, Elsie raised two daughters and did volunteer work. She helped with 4H while her daughters were active and baked cookies for any gathering that came up. She also greatly enjoyed serving on the Wood River Library board. In the spring of 1968, the family moved to town as Herb quit farming.
Elsie was a caretaker, especially of her oldest daughter, Lyanne. She cared for her mother for several years as well. Elsie had 2 passions. She loved playing bridge, belonging to several groups. And she did beautiful embroidery in the form of hardanger. Her family and friends had their homes graced with hardanger gifts from her. She also enjoyed gardening and grew a variety of flowers in her yard. In addition, Elsie was a wordsmith. She completed crossword puzzles daily and in later years she worked word find puzzles. For a period of time, she and Herb were the candy people. Children in Wood River knew they could knock on the Bonsack door and receive a piece of candy. Both Elsie and Herb loved this contact with young people. The couple were long time members of First United Methodist Church of Wood River where Elsie taught Sunday School and Bible school in her younger years and was a circle member throughout much of her adulthood.
In 2008, Elsie moved to Grand Island and loved living at Riverside Lodge. Elsie is survived by her daughter and son in law, Debbra and Gail Brummund, grandchildren Barry (Jennifer) Brummund, Brian (Emily) Brummund, Bradley (Jennifer) Brummund, Alan Lange and great grandchildren Gavin, Matthew, Sam, Katie, and Marin Brummund. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Elsie was preceded in death by her husband, Herb, her eldest daughter, Lyanne, her parents, three brothers, Loren, Lyle, and Murice Fairbanks, and her sister Elinore Sear.