May 17, 2023 Bonnie Tyler, 93
Funeral Celebration of Life Services for Bonnie Tyler, age 93, of Lenox, who passed away Friday, May 12, 2023 at the Lenox Care Center will be held Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the Lenox United Presbyterian Church. Visitation will be held Tuesday at the Ritchie Funeral Home in Lenox from 4 to 7 with the family greeting friends from 5 to 7. Interment will be held at North Fairview Cemetery in Lenox. Memorials may be given in Bonnie’s name. Memories may be shared with the family at www.ritchiefuneralhome.com under Obituaries. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Lenox where we ‘Celebrate Life’.
Bonnie Jean Tyler was born November 10, 1929, to Richard W. and Thelma (Heflin) Baskerville, and passed away on May 12, 2023, at the age of 93 years and 6 months. She was the fourth of five children born to the Baskervilles, and she outlived all of them, including their spouses. She outlived Win by almost 10 years — on July 2.
Bonnie grew up on a farm in northwestern Iowa. The family raised their own meat and chickens, milked cows, and lived off the huge garden that their mother planted each spring. She often remarked that they never had to worry about going hungry, even during the Depression. While on the farm, she learned how to drive a tractor so she could help bale hay; she herded cattle down the road for feed and played on their pony. Bonnie went to country school where they had to walk or ride their bikes in all kinds of weather. She loved the farm — running outdoors barefoot and playing in the snow.
After 8th grade, she attended Lytton High School where she was the accompanist for all of choral groups, cheerleader for the basketball games, and first chair trumpeter in the band. Bonnie was always glad when Friday came as she had her piano lesson with a teacher who had studied in Paris. After high school graduation, Bonnie attended the University of Iowa for two years. They had a job placement program, so in the summers she worked in a restaurant at a resort on the beach in Sandusky, Ohio.
Bonnie met Winston on a blind date at a drugstore in Iowa City, and they were married August 18, 1950, at the First Congregational Church in Fonda, Iowa. Soon after, the newlyweds were living in Germany because Win had been drafted into the Army during the Korean War. After they returned to the United States, Win went to work at Tyler Pharmacy, and motherhood became Bonnie’s full-time career with the arrival of their three children. Mom always said that her favorite time in life was when her kids were little. Her favorite saying to get us out of bed when we were kids was: “Get up. We’ve gotta make hay while the sun shines.”
In 1971 Bonnie began volunteering at the library. Then in 1981 she became the paid Library Director. She loved books and would read anything she could get her hands on. She retired from her 40-year library career on November 4, 2013. Bonnie also worked at the drugstore over the years. She finished up her college degree by correspondence courses through the University of Iowa, graduating with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in 1981 at age 52. A major accomplishment was walking across the stage at the University of Iowa to receive her diploma.
Bonnie’s kids remember their mother as being a very hard worker. She was into physical fitness and low-fat cooking decades before it became fashionable. Mom was a meticulous housekeeper. She loved to decorate and remodel her home. We have many memories of her being up on a ladder painting a room, working in her yard and flowerbeds, planting a large garden, and canning and freezing vegetables. At least one of us can remember her dressing chickens in the backyard. “You can take a girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl” was never truer than it was for our mother. She always missed farm life.
Bonnie and Win looked forward to their many trips to Iowa City where they visited Rick and his family and attended many Iowa Hawkeye football games. They loved the marching band. They also enjoyed many weekends in Des Moines visiting Jennie. Bonnie and Jennie loved to take the Amtrak to Colorado to visit and attend the show choir Cheri performed in. Bonnie enjoyed traveling with Win throughout Europe and crisscrossing the United States by planes, trains and automobiles with Cheri and Jennie. Sailing away in a hot air balloon in New Mexico, riding mules down into Bryce Canyon on hairpin curves, and seeing Dolly Parton at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville are but a few of the highlights of their many trips. Bonnie loved the bright lights of Las Vegas. Her last big hurrah was traveling to Branson, Missouri, for her 90th birthday. Mom traveled to many different places, but when it was all said and done, she said she liked Colorado the best.
Bonnie was a 60-year member of PEO and 60+-year member of the Presbyterian Church. In mid-life, she learned to play the organ and was church organist for many years. She also sang in the church choir and helped with many church activities, luncheons and funerals. Throughout the years, Bonnie taught Sunday School and served on various church committees.
Bonnie volunteered for the blood mobile and worked at the voting precincts. She was a master pie maker and would bake at least ten pies for the library bake sale and then take many more orders for her lemon meringue pies. Bonnie loved to sew and made many quilts during her lifetime. She also liked to knit and crochet. Mom would painstakingly knit and sew clothes for our Barbie dolls, which we still have. She also spent many hours sewing our school clothes. When we were kids, Mom was a Cub Scout leader and a Blue Bird leader. She enjoyed playing Bridge but also liked to play card games with her grandkids. Bonnie belonged to High Steppers, a card group, a ladies’ bowling league and golf league, entering many tournaments along the way and winning a few. She especially enjoyed golfing with the Golden Girls.
Bonnie will always be remembered for her trademark smile.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Winston, her parents, Richard and Thelma Baskerville, brother Irvin (Ann) Baskerville, sister Arlene (Marvin) Krohn, sister Ruth Ann (Ole) Taxted, brother Richard, Jr. (Roselyn) Baskerville, nephew, Roger Baskerville, brother-in-law, Dale Eklund, and her cousins.
Left to celebrate her life are her kids: Cheri (Tom) Seeton, Golden, Colorado; Jennie Tyler, Lenox; Rick and Maggie Tyler, Iowa City; grandkids: Sean Tyler, Iowa City, and Savannah (Brandon) Hoyt and their son, Carter Winston, Cedar Rapids. She leaves behind many nieces and nephews as well as in-laws, Judy Eklund, Afton, and Phil and Judy Tyler, Creston.
John 11:25-26: Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.”