Bonnie was born on December 4, 1927 in Jetmore, Kansas, to Vernon W. Koontz and Carrie Etta Rumford Koontz. She graduated from Jetmore High School in 1945 and attended one year at Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas. In her early years, Bonnie enjoyed singing with her siblings and worked at the Koontz Mercantile, her father’s grocery/clothing store.
Bonnie married Charlie (Chuck) W. Patchen on May 5, 1947, in her family home and began fifty adventurous years as a farm wife on the Pawnee Creek in northwest Hodgeman County, Kansas. To this union, four children were born.
From 1947-1958, Chuck and Bonnie and family lived in a two-room cabin on the Sinclair ranch in the North Roscoe township. In 1958, they moved five miles away to Chuck’s parent’s native stone farmhouse located 20 miles northwest of Jetmore.
Bonnie cherished her time being part of the ‘North Roscoe mother team’ raising her children while enjoying the many neighboring kids. Bonnie was a gifted cook, gardener and seamstress and was actively involved in the operational aspects of wheat farming and cattle ranching. Along with her husband, she drove tractors and harvest trucks and tended to cattle, sheep and chickens. She was a leader with the Jolly Jayhawkers 4-H Club in which all of her children participated. With family and friends, Bonnie enjoyed playing cards, especially cribbage and the country life of fishing, coon hunting and searching out Indian artifacts prevalent in the area.
Bonnie’s dear husband, Chuck, passed in 1994. Two years later, she moved off the farm and back to her hometown of Jetmore.
Bonnie married Wilbur (Bill) Steele on September 10, 2001. Living in Branson, MO for ten years, they enjoyed hosting guests, seeing shows and Bonnie challenged herself with the use of computers and the smart phone. In 2014, Bill and Bonnie moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, to be closer to family. Bill passed in 2016.
Bonnie was proceeded in death by her mother in 1931, father in 1965, and step-mother, Lillian, in 1962; two brothers, Dale (infant) Koontz and Wayne Koontz; two sisters, Jean Barrows and Betty Burgert; two half-brothers, Ward and Denzil Koontz; half-sister, Ella Mae Mann and two grandsons.
Bonnie is survived by her half-sister, Eva Koontz, Kansas City, MO; daughters, Linda (Sonny) Diehl, Fort Collins, CO and Peggy (Bob) Rinne, Seattle, WA; and sons, Larry (Pat) Patchen, Pagosa Springs, CO and Terry Patchen, Las Vegas, NV; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Bonnie will be interred at the Fairmount Cemetery in Jetmore, KS. A memorial service will be held Memorial Day 2019.
Friends may send condolences to the family via www.BeckwithMortuary.com. In lieu of flowers and gifts, please consider donations to Pathways Hospice, Fort Collins, CO and/or Hodgeman County 4-H, % Beckwith Mortuary, Box 663, Jetmore, KS, 67854.
Bonnie’s kind actions and ready laugh will be missed by all who knew her.