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Obituary for Bonnie Ender

Bonnie Joanne Ender passed away Sunday, December 20, 2020, at the home of Eric and Lynette Ender in West Salem, Wisconsin at the age of 87. She was born November 29, 1933; the youngest child of Harry and Stella (Munson) Wilcox in West Salem, Wisconsin. A lifetime member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Bonnie was baptized April 26, 1936, and confirmed June 6, 1948. Bonnie graduated from West Salem High School in 1951 and spent her school years playing piano and singing with her sisters. After graduating from secretarial school, Bonnie worked for West Salem’s local general practitioner, Dr. RH Goedecke. Their friendship continued long after her employment ceased. On June 23, 1956, Bonnie married Gene Ender. They raised their three children in West Salem amongst family and lifelong friends. It was not uncommon to find Bonnie at the piano surrounded by family and friends singing. Bonnie and Gene especially loved their trips to the Canadian Rockies. Gene died suddenly of a stroke in 1996. Bonnie spent many years working for the School District of West Salem as a high school secretary and library aide, retiring in 1996. She was honored as the 1982 Neshonoc Dedicatee and received the Nuttelman Distinguished Service Award for service to the West Salem school district. She acquired many lifelong work friends whom she loved like family. She fiercely supported the West Salem music program and worked to see the Heider Center constructed. Bonnie’s talents at the piano and organ led her to accompany many students in music competitions. She spent 25 years as organist and choir accompanist at Our Saviors Lutheran Church with her sister Dawn Andres as choir director. Bonnie filled her retirement reading a multitude of books, crocheting, and going on adventures with her grandchildren. “Nana” Bonnie would wait at the end of the driveway to be picked up by the family van for music concerts, ball games, or church events. She always kept her grandchildren’s preferred snacks in the cupboard and peanut M&M’s in her blue candy dish. Though her grandchildren moved to all parts of the country, Bonnie kept in contact with them through regular phone calls and FaceTime visits. After a broken hip in 2016, Bonnie left her West Salem home and moved to Eagle Crest Memory Care in Onalaska, Wisconsin. She enjoyed living there with her only complaint being that it was not located in West Salem. She is survived by children, Eric (Lynette) of West Salem, Tamara (Brian Proctor) of Lake City, Minnesota, Bradley (Laura) of Fort Worth Texas; grandchildren, Emily Ender (Nathan Pendexter), Leif Ender, Lauren (Patrick) Lowther-Welsh, Christopher Lowther, Laine (Tanner)Krysl, and Erin Ender; great-grandchildren, Wesley Pendexter, Isabel and Evan Welsh, and Lucas and Hailey Lowther; special niece, Theresa Gentry; and many other nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gene; parents, Harry and Stella Wilcox; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Walter and Ethel Ender; sister-in-law, Rita Ender; siblings and their spouses, Connie (Kermit) Greenley, Richard (Viola) Wilcox, Joyce (Harry) Distelhurst, Dawn (John) Andres, and Carol Mae Wilcox; and niece, Kathy Jenks. Bonnie will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Thank you to the wonderful staff at Eagle Crest for loving Bonnie like family. Thank you to Gundersen Health System Hospice care for their support as she was brought home. Memorials to The Heider Center, Our Saviors Lutheran Church choir or endowment funds, or Wisconsin Lions Foundation Due to COVID restrictions, a private immediate family funeral will be held. A Celebration of Life will be held in summer 2021.