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Published: Tuesday, 7/1/2003

Henry County woman found joy in tutoring

MALINTA, Ohio - Bonnie Lou Wilson, who late in life enjoyed the pleasures of being a reading tutor for schoolchildren in Malinta and Deshler, Ohio, died of cancer Thursday in Lake Park Care Center, Sylvania. She was 63.

A teacher at Malinta Elementary School urged her to become a tutor several years ago, Michael Wilson, her husband, said. She took to it so well,she volunteered four days a week at the school, and a year ago joined a tutoring program at Deshler Elementary.

“She loved doing it,” her husband said. “She enjoyed the kids and asked for nothing in return. When the kids found out she was sick, they sent her cards and asked her to come back.”

Reading aloud was something she had done years earlier with her daughter and three grandsons.

“She read to them all the time, and helped them with their homework,” Mr. Wilson said. “She probably would have been a teacher had she had the money and been able to go [to college]. She always loved the kids.”

Mrs. Wilson's father died when she was 14 years old, he said. Her mother became ill soon after, so Mrs. Wilson had to concentrate on caring for her.

“Bonnie was a giver and never a taker,” Mr. Wilson said. “She liked everybody. She was very kind and gentle to everybody. I'm not just saying that because she was my wife. She was like that way to everybody.”

A 1958 graduate of Deshler High School, she married Mr. Wilson in 1978 after she and her first husband divorced in the early 1970s.

Mrs. Wilson worked from about 1973 to 1981 at the Holiday Inn in Findlay, where she was head desk clerk. She also worked at the former Wally's Supervalu for a few years in the late 1980s.

Mrs. Wilson was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hamler, Ohio, where she volunteered with the Prayer Warriors, Kids in Christ's Kingdom, and confirmation classes.

A year ago, she was named Senior Citizen of the Day in Henry County.

Surviving are her husband, Michael; daughter, Krista Grobrogge; sister, Mary Ruth VanDeBussche, and three grandsons.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today in Immanuel Lutheran Church. Arrangements are by the Hanneman Funeral Home, Deshler.

The family requests tributes to the church, a hospice of the donor's choice, or Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Henry County.

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