Devonna Rae Bohnenkamp (Bonnie) -Obit

Devonna Rae Bohnenkamp (Bonnie) lost her battle with liver failure on December 8, 2021, at 71 years of age in her home surrounded by her family. 

Bonnie was born on September 28, 1950, to Marvelyn and John Ellison in Oakes, ND. Bonnie called many cities home throughout her childhood including LaMoure, Oriska, and Northwood, before graduating from Oakes High School. She attended beauty school in Aberdeen, SD before marrying her soul mate, Mel Bohnenkamp.

Bonnie married Mel in Oakes, ND on February 6, 1970, and they made their home in Kulm, ND for a short time, then Wahpeton before making their final home in Fertile, MN.

Bonnie’s lifelong goal was to become a mother and housewife. In 1972, her first child was born, and through motherhood, she found her fulfillment. Her three children became her passion, and she devoted every aspect of her days by being completely engaged in their life. Her world revolved around their endeavors, and she set her sights on supporting their goals and celebrating their achievements.  Later in life, her grandchildren became the cornerstone of her pride, and she spent her time cherishing every hug and laugh. She was especially proud of the character of each one of her grandchildren and never forfeited an opportunity to tell others about them. Her favorite memories were spent at “Cousin Camp,” an annual weekend event reserved just for the “Bohnenkamp” family.

When not with her family, Bonnie enjoyed the Casino and was always a “lucky charm.”  She never called herself lucky but referred to herself as blessed. She and Mel enjoyed their time traveling together looking for old cars and parts. In recent years the couple spent many weekends in Mille Lacs Lake and Hankinson. Some of their major travels included a trip to Kentucky to see her brother, site seeing the western side of the US, a trip to Walt Disney World, and a Royal Caribbean Cruise.

Bonnie is best known for her extroverted personality. She never wasted a moment when in the presence of someone new. By the end of every conversation, big or small she was noted for making everyone in her presence feel important and valued. Owning Northwest Apartments was more than just her job. It was a ministry, and she embraced her time becoming friends with her tenants. She was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and her strong Catholic faith guided her and by her example, she led her family. Her strong faith was her source of strength during her battle with breast cancer and Bonnie was excited to ring the bell that entered her into remission in October of 2018.

Bonnie was instrumental in the formation of the MCCL chapter in our region and was a strong advocate for the unborn. Behind closed doors, she would advocate for young women by offering her home to unwed mothers, fundraising, financial contributions, and needed supplies to those who were vulnerable and chose life. In her prime, she spent many hours praying outside abortion clinics with fervent pleas to end abortion. Her pro-life views extended far beyond the life of the unborn. From homeless on the street to shut-ins, if Bonnie saw a need, she provided.

Bonnie is survived by her husband, Mel Bohnenkamp (Fertile, MN), her three children, Tammy (Jamy) Fuglseth, (Fertile, MN), John (Bobbie) Bohnenkamp, (Thief River Falls, MN), and April (Aaron) Swenby, (Fertile, MN). Ten grandchildren, {Kaitlyn (Trey) Wiebusch, Megan and Abby Fuglseth} {Anna, Grace and Mollie Bohnenkamp} and {Lexi, Aubree, Ally and Noah Swenby}. Two sisters, Marva Rodine, and Becki (Steve) Minge; one brother, Dan (Patti) Ellison; one brother-in-law, Bob Schneider; many nieces and nephews; and her very best friend and one she called her sister, Dyanne Miller.

She is preceded in death by her grandparents; her parents, Marvelyn and John Ellison; her mother and father-in-law, Ruby and John Bohnenkamp; her sister, Pam Schneider; her brother-in-law, Bennie Rodine; and her grandson, Austin John Swenby.

Funeral Mass: 10:30 AM, Saturday, December 18, 2021, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Fertile, MN.

Visitation: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Friday, December 17, 2021, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Fertile, MN.

Burial: St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Fertile, MN.

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Arrangements with Erikson-Vik-Ganje Funeral Home

Fertile, Minnesota