Bonnie L. Opsal

Bonnie L. Opsal, 60, passed away on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009 at St. Luke’s Medical Center of Milwaukee.

She was born on June 10, 1948 in Menomonee and raised in Ladysmith, on the banks of the Flambeau River. She moved to West Bend in 1966 and worked at the West Bend Company until 1973. Bonnie drove taxi for City Cab until 1976 and was the owner/operator of Courtesy Cab Company for three years, which she ran out of her home, along with a telephone answering service. She sold life insurance for a short time, then cancer and intensive care insurance. She quit selling cancer coverage when she said it was too emotionally painful delivering checks to policy holders undergoing advanced cancer care.

Then, Bonnie found her true calling - the career that would give her the most pleasure in her life. She became a bus driver and not just any bus driver - ask any child in Washington County who she may have transported. Bonnie loved kids and the kids loved Bonnie! She respected each child as their own individual person. She worked for the West Bend School District for 29 years. The "address specific" experience she had learned as a cab driver made her a great asset to the school district when she was asked to start setting up transportation routes.

Bonnie really enjoyed the time spent with friends at Moonlighting, Pier 144 and Downtown Haven. She also enjoyed socializing, shaking dice, playing cribbage and lots of laughter.

Bonnie received a blessing when she had the opportunity to raise her niece, Jessica, for 13 years. She always called Jessica her daughter. The newest pleasure in her life was her great-niece, Jordon. Thankfully, over the 14 months of her cancer treatments, she had several opportunities to travel to Hazelhurst to enjoy time with her.

She is survived by her loving partner of 36 years, Lynda DuCharme of West Bend; two brothers, LeRoy "Buck" (Judy) of Ladysmith, and Kent of Fond du Lac; three nieces, Shelley of Mt. Airy, NC, Jessica (friend, Mike Sorenson) of West Bend, and Shari Taylor of Eau Claire; one nephew, Jason (Kim) of Hazelhurst; two step-nephews, Jon (Kary) Nybakke of White Bear Lake, Minn., and Rick (Bridget) Nybakke of Ladysmith; two great-nieces, Kateesha and Jordon; one great-nephew, Marcus; and five great step-nieces and nephews, Becky, Brooke, Maddie, Hailey, and Tyler. She is dearly loved by many other relatives and friends.

Bonnie is preceded in death by her parents, Stanley and Loraine (nee Whittaker) Opsal.

The Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009, 7 p.m, at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel of West Bend with Deacon Ron Schneider officiating. The visitation with family and friends will be on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., at the funeral home. Cremation, Paradise Cremation Services of West Bend.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Oncology Alliance, St. Luke’s 8th floor ICU and 12th floor Oncology Center.

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family; (262) 338-2050 and www.phillipfuneralhome.com.