Bonnie Duchow

Obituary of Bonnie Duchow

WESTERLO - Bonnie Ruth Reister Duchow, 86, a retired educator, died Wednesday, August 9, 2017, in Dallas, Texas, where she had lived with her son and family for the last two years.

Bonnie was born October 30, 1930, in Grand Rapids, Mich., the oldest child of Arnold and Florence Schmidt Reister. She grew up in Grandville, Mich., and graduated from Grandville High School in 1948. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Ill., in 1954, and was called to be an elementary school teacher in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Bonnie taught three years at Immanuel Lutheran School in Williamsburg, Iowa, followed by three years at St. John's Lutheran School in Lansing, Ill.

On July 9, 1960, in Grandville, Bonnie married the Rev. Robert M. Duchow. Bob's pastoral calls took them to Youngstown, Ohio, Chardon, Ohio, Manchester, N.H., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y. In Manchester, Bonnie resumed teaching, first as a substitute and later as a reading specialist in the city school district. In Saratoga Springs, Bonnie again was a substitute teacher in the city school district before working in pre-schools, retiring in 1996 as Director of the Pre-school at the Saratoga Springs branch of the Saratoga Regional YMCA.

In 1996, Bonnie and Bob moved to Westerlo, N.Y., where Bonnie volunteered as a story time reader at the Westerlo Public Library, and worked at the library part-time for 12 years.

Throughout her life, Bonnie was active in her church, including as a Sunday School teacher for many years, and for more than 50 years with the Lutheran Women's Missionary League, for which she held many offices in congregations and at the district level. While in Manchester, Bonnie also served on the board of directors of the Manchester Children's Home/Webster House, which provided a safe haven for children.

In her youth, Bonnie enjoyed summers on her grandparents' farms, blueberry picking, lake trips with her cousins, squirrel hunting with her dad, her doll collection and making clothes for them, and playing the piano. In later years, Bonnie enjoyed knitting, particularly preemie baby bonnets, sewing, canning, flower gardening, reading, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, traveling and visiting with family, especially her grandchildren.

Bonnie is survived by her husband, Robert M. Duchow, of Westerlo; three sons, Martin C. (Deborah) Duchow of Unionville, Conn., Frederick G. (Michelle) Duchow of Garland, Texas, and Robert A. (Emily) Duchow of Bakersfield, Calif.; two sisters, Marcia (Woody) Knight of Nixa, Mo., and Genese (Buz) Snyder of Allendale, Mich.; a brother, Carl (Janet) Reister of Pasadena, Texas; and seven grandchildren, Shelby, Zachary (Jacque), Elizabeth, Christian, Catherine, Gabriel and Ella.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, August 15, at A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home, 4898 State Route 81, Greenville. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16 at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 186 Main St., Cairo. Burial will be in the family plot at Westerlo Rural Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Resurrection Lutheran Church, 186 Main St., Cairo, N.Y. 12413, or the Westerlo Public Library, P.O. Box 267, Westerlo, N.Y. 12193. Condolences may be expressed at