Bonnie Jo (Sander) Wischmann

Born: Sun., Sep. 11, 1921
Died: Mon., Sep. 15, 2014

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Bonnie Jo Wischmann, 93, passed away of natural causes on September 15, 2014, at the Teton County Nursing Home, in Choteau, Montana.  Her life is celebrated by her children.

Bonnie often said she lived a wonderful life; she loved her children, and enjoyed reading mysteries.  She achieved her dream job later in life working for 20 years as the McCone County librarian, in Circle, Montana.  When she was younger she loved music and dance.  She played the piano and performed as a ballerina in Bozeman.  In college, the fraternities in Bozeman hired her to come and teach their members how to dance.  She also taught dance to many children in several Montana towns.  The most important thing Bonnie and Hans taught their children was to judge people on the content of their character.  We have all done our best to live up to that example.

On Bonnies 50th birthday we lived in Frazer and for her birthday party we each made party hats from construction paper, that same day a large prairie fire consumed the closest town to Frazer, Oswego, Montana.  We are sure the two events were not related.  For Bonnies  90th birthday we recreated our hats for her birthday celebration.  To the best of our knowledge no towns burned to the ground on that day.

When the twins were in high school, on weekends up to a dozen girls stayed at our house in Frazer (I still have no idea where in the house, it wasn’t that big!) and everyone was fed before they left for the basketball games.  On one occasion, one girl told Bonnie she was not hungry and did not want to eat anything but Bonnie told her that she had to eat or she wasn’t going to the game.  

A born and raised Montanan, she did leave the state twice, the first was when she attended the Christian Female College (now Columbia College) in Columbia, Missouri, and during WWII when she and her sister Virginia went to work for Western Union in Sacramento, California.

Many years ago, at Christmas, the game Trivial Pursuit was popular and our family enjoyed answering the questions, even after Bonnie went to bed we could hear her voice from her bedroom answering (correctly) any and all questions relating to literature.

Bonnie Jo Sander was born on September 11, 1921 in Bozeman, Montana.  She hailed from Bozeman, Frazer, Circle and Billings to name a few. She married Hans Wischmann, the love of her life, in Bozeman, Montana in 1951.

She was preceded in death by her parents Ruby Haysel (Letchworth) Sander and Theodore John Sander, her siblings Catherine Virginia (Sander) Mc Donald and Theodore John Sander, and her husband Hans Wischmann.

She earned 2 bachelor’s degrees from Montana State College (now Montana State University) the first in Home Economics and the second in Elementary Education.  Her vocations were teaching dance, elementary education, and librarian.  She was baptized into the Christian Church in Bozeman and was a member of the Lutheran Churches in Frazer and Circle, Montana.  She was also a member of Eastern Star and a Lutheran prayer group in Circle.

She is survived by her sister in law Polly Wischmann, Glendive, her children; Diane Sands (Ann Mary Dussault), Missoula, Teddi McConnell (Richard McConnell), Billings, Susan Wischmann (Steven Johnson), Billings, Sally Stiffler (Wayne Stiffler), Fairfield, and Wayne Wischmann (Patricia Wischmann), Tualatin, Oregon.  Bonnie has 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Arrangements for her remains are being handled by Gordon-Jensen Funeral Home in Choteau, Montana.  Inurnment will be next to her husband Hans Wischmann in the Veterans Circle of the Riverview Cemetery in Circle, Montana.  

We want to thank the Teton Valley Nursing Home staff and the Benifis Hospice Care professionals for the care of our mother and the consideration they showed to the family during the last weeks of our mother’s life.

Her wish for her end of life was to not have a funeral service but for her five children to get together and talk about our lives with our parents and the places we lived.  We have and will continue to honor those wishes.   Bonnie was a giver to a variety of charities for children, the homeless, battered women and leukemia, consequently her family would prefer that if you wish, please send a memorial to your favorite charity.

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Condolence Booklet

   Posted Mon September 15, 2014
..I am true sad to see the end of Bonnie Jo's time on earth come to a prayers and sympathy go out to each and everyone of you..'she always had a smile'. Jon wade...

Annette Berge Vegge
   Posted Mon September 15, 2014
So sorry for your loss. I will always remember Mrs. Wischmann as my 6th grade teacher and her wonderful bracelets!!
She's at peace now and I'm sure her and Mom are planning a fun Frazer reunion. Mom talked of her often. The Berge Family is thinking of you all with our deepest sympathy and prayers to all of you.

Marlys Schara Lee
   Posted Mon September 15, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of Bonnie's passing. My thoughts and prayers will be with all of you.

Cathryn V Caldwell Griffith
   Posted Tue September 16, 2014
I was saddened to read of Aunt Bonnie's passing. Bonnie was truly a very kind soul and I'm sure she will be missed by her family as time passes. She lived a long life and well, I might add. My deepest sympathy and prayers goes out to all of you.

LeAnne Anderson Brandt
   Posted Wed September 17, 2014
I loved stopping by the library and visiting Bonnie. She was a wonderful librarian and a great influence when I taught in Circle. What a wonderful lady!

Lisa Berge Peck
   Posted Thu September 18, 2014
So sorry for your loss. Your Mom was one of my favorite teachers. I have so many happy memories of your family and growing up in Frazer. I think I'll make a batch of "Bonnie's Candy" this weekend in her honor. I always loved having some of her candy at Christmas time. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Diane Wetsit-Hoy
   Posted Mon September 22, 2014
To Bonnie's Family:
Thank you for allowing me to share in the graveside ceremony on Sat, 20Sept2014 & participate in the celebration of Bonnie's life. I have so many happy memories of her time in Frazer and will cherish her gifts of mothering and friendship. I will remember her dancing eyes and beautiful smile. My prayers are for comfort as we all move forward in loving memories of her. Ah-ho. (Your Nakota Sister)

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