SIOUX CENTER—Elmer Peter Bonnema, 92, Sioux Center, died Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at Royale Meadows Care Center in Sioux Center. Services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Lebanon Christian Reformed Church. Burial with military honors will be at church cemetery. Visitation will be 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home in Sioux Center.
Elmer Bonnema was born July 3, 1927, in Eagle Township in Sioux County to parents Peter and Leafy Bonnema. He attended country school through eighth grade and then worked with his father on the family farm.
Elmer married Mathilda Mulder in Orange City, IA Oct. 18, 1950. He left the next month for Fort Leonard Wood, CO, to be inducted into the army. In 1951, Elmer went to serve in Korea as a jeep repair technician during the Korean War. He returned in Nov. 1952 to work on the family farm.
Daughter, Mary, was born while Elmer was serving in Korea. He and Mathilda were blessed with three more children: Lavonne, Myron (stillborn), and Barbara. Mathilda passed away March 9, 1959, due to a house fire.
Elmer married Jacoba Van Dorp, Aug. 11, 1961, in Lebanon, IA. He farmed on the family farm, raising pigs, cattle, and chickens. He was a lifetime member of the Lebanon Christians Reformed Church where he enjoyed participating in the church’s Bible study groups and ministry activities. Elmer served as elder and deacon for many years. One activity he loved was pitching for the Lebanon Softball team. Jacoba passed away Jan. 23, 1990.
Elmer married Arta Haverhals Sept. 25, 1992, in Lebanon, IA. They lived in Sioux Center. He enjoyed playing cards and drinking coffee with the other men at the Senior Activity Center. In 2013, Elmer and Artie moved to Crown Pointe. Artie passed away July 11, 2018. On Aug. 20, 2019, Elmer moved into Royale Meadows.
Elmer was a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and served on the board of directors for Memorial Funeral Home.
He is survived by his three daughters and their families: Mary and Stanley Goslinga of Orange City and children, Jennifer and Joe Trosen, Michael and Elizabeth Goslinga, and Rachel and Ryan De Vries; Lavonne and Don Jansen of Grand Rapids, MI and children, Brad and Becky Jansen, Heidi Seosenyeng, Lynn and Dykon Pacis; Barbara and Alan Van Beek of Orange City and children, Adam and Marla Van Beek, Emily and Stephan McClure. Also left to cherish his memory are 15 great-grandchildren; one brother, Harold Bonnema; five stepchildren, Lorraine and Herb Struyk, John and Lorna Haverhals, Barry and Jodi Haverhals, Kevin Haverhals, Lois and Scott Mouw; plus many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three wives; infant son, Myron; and siblings, Mae and Dick Fedders, Melvin and Gertie Bonnema, Beulah and Clarence Statema; and sister-in law, Millie Bonnema.