Monday, April 09, 2007

Mom's obituary

Bonita Kay Combs, age 65, passed away Saturday, April 7, in Peru, IN.
Born in Peru, July 1941, Bonnie always found beauty in the ordinary, and, most importantly, found humor in adversity. A recent retiree from Square D, she became a successful freelance photographer and authored a history of Peru weblog, Peru Then and Now.
She was a member of Sigma Phi Gamma sorority, The Artist's Connection, Miami County Historical Museum volunteer and 50 year member of the First Presbyterian Church. A PHS class of '59 graduate, Bonnie volunteered for the Cole Porter home restoration; and was an avid gardener and fisherman.
She is survived by her children Marci Richter and husband Edi, Malissa Strasser and husband Shaun, Randy Combs and wife Michelle, mother Juanita Geberin, and siblings Terry Geberin and wife Susie and Elizabeth Edwards and husband Art. A devoted, involved grandmother, Bonnie will be missed by her 11 grandchildren, Jordan, Amber, April, Ben Michael, Bradley, Matthew, Jeremiah, Corinne, Haley, Zach, Joey plus her three great grandchildren, Brooklyn, Raven, and Emma. She was preceded in death by father Robert Geberin.
A viewing will be held Tuesday, April 10, 2-8 p.m at Flowers Leedy Funeral Home, 105 W. 3rd St. in Peru. The funeral will be held Wednesday, April 11, 10:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 102 W. Main St, in Peru. Memorial contributions can be made in Bonnie's name to the Wabash Miami County Hospice or the First Presbyterian Church in Peru.


Jerry Butler said...

Although I haven't spoken to Bonnie often, I have admired her work and seemingly endless energy.
She has given you wonderful memories.

Justin Delp said...

I will miss her as much as you guys will..She was a good person to me and to everyone..My mother Jane Delp wanted me to tell you guys that she is sorry for her passing, and so am I...I never new she was in bad shape until now and I am sorry I didn't know..I am glad I know now and so therefore I can be there for my lovely dear friend April. Lots of Hugs from me..

Love LiL-Delp (Justin)

Melissa said...

Our prayers and sympathy's go out to you and your family. I knew your mother from church and from Square D. Please pass along to the rest of the Geberin family. The Deb Hay and Melissa Hay Bishop families

Anonymous said...

Randy & Marci,

I am so sorry to hear about your moms passing. It is such a hard thing to go through. It helps to have your family and friends.

Pam (Lee) Ahnert

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Bonnie Combs. I worked with her for many years at Square D. I have never met a more fun person to be around. She always brought a smile to my face. She could embarrass me quicker than anyone,without saying a word. It was a look she would give me, like she could read my mind! I will miss her a lot. I wish there was more people like her. Chad

Bobbie Sease said...

April 11, 2007

Bonnie’s funeral today was beautiful and touching, a poignant tribute to one of Miami County’s strongest supporters and most valuable treasures. Standing in the cemetery with Del in that raw cold wind, I couldn’t help but think that God was showing us how bleak our world will be without her.

Back in the seventies, when I was searching for answers, someone told me to read the Bible. I must have smirked. That person told me that if I kept at it, I would find a character who would speak to me. He said the Bible has someone for everyone, someone we can identify with in some significant way. I found that to be true and I’ve passed on that advice to many others over the years. When I think of Bonnie, I think of Barnabas from the New Testament. He was called the “son of encouragement.” He was the one who stood up for Paul (previously Saul) to the apostles and other Christians, when they doubted that Paul had truly been converted. Preachers and Christian writers today often use Barnabas as an example of one who “comes alongside” to encourage. And that is how I remember Bonnie. She didn’t just encourage with words. She came alongside and helped people bring to fruition what they dreamed in their hearts.

She believed in my writing ability and told me often that I should try to publish. But she didn’t stop there. One day in 1985, she brought out a clipping from New Woman magazine that advertised a poetry contest. A week later, she called and asked if I had submitted a poem yet. She even suggested which one to submit! She was the first person I called when I was notified that I had won the contest and the $1,000 prize. Later, Bonnie and I collaborated on a few articles for The Peru Daily Tribune, as it was called then. One of our biggest thrills was having our article (my writing, her photos) published in Country Woman magazine.

Bonnie’s curiosity and energy were insatiable. I never saw her idle. She was always investigating something, trying something, creating something, or going somewhere to see something. She had an infectious childlike wonder about life and an appetite to match. In my somber moments, I can’t help but feel some anger that her life was cut so short—just when she finally had great chunks of time to spend pursuing new interests. Then I remember this: to Bonnie, time was a commodity to be spent with abandon. She made the most of every moment. She gained something valuable in every experience.

She saw more, did more, explored more, enjoyed more than just about anybody I ever met. She didn’t just whip out pictures of her grandchildren to show you in passing. She carried her grandchildren with her! How many times do I remember her coming out to the greenhouse with kids in tow, or out to the pond to fish, or passing through on her way to Mississinewa Reservoir? I can’t ever remember her being alone on those ventures. She was a student and life was her school. She also was a teacher, grabbing lessons from every opportunity.

Bonnie was my first friend when I moved here in 1974. Del grew up in Peru, but I felt like an outsider. Bonnie helped me believe that there was something extraordinarily special about this place. She helped me understand how important it is to ‘bloom where you are planted.’

I will miss you dearly, Bonnie.

Bobbie Sease

"Go, songs, and come not back from your far way:
And if men ask you why ye smile and sorrow,
Tell them ye grieve, for your hearts know To-day,
Tell them ye smile, for your eyes know To-morrow."
--Francis Thompson