Mass of Christian Burial for Bonnie Wenande, 94, of Gillette formerly of Oshoto, will be held 2 p.m., Friday, February 11, 2021 at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, with Father Bryce Lungren officiating. Rite of Committal will follow in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, February 10, 2022 at Gillette Memorial Chapel, with a vigil prayer service starting at 6 p.m. Bonnie passed away on Saturday, February 5, 2022 in Gillette.
Jean Marie Wenande, known to her friends and family as Bonnie, was born on August 2, 1927, the daughter of Charles T. and Mary Ellen (Wetzel) Rourke in Gillette, Wyoming. She was raised south of Gillette on the family homestead. She attended rural schools and graduated from Campbell County High School in 1945. She then attended St. Mary’s College in Leavenworth, Kansas, where she received her teaching certificate. She returned to Gillette to teach and run a dress shop with her friend. Those were the two things she loved until she went to a dance at the American Legion and met a cowboy named Bob Wenande. They were married on June 21, 1951 and she moved 60 miles northeast of Gillette to the Wenande Ranch. To this union 3 children were born: Diane, Bill and Debbie. Raising her family working in her garden and putting on rodeos with the Horse Creek Roping Club (either in the lunch stand or taking tickets) kept her busy.
Bob and Bonnie spent their winters in Mesa, Arizona after they retired. Bonnie loved the warm weather, her rose bushes and fruit trees in her yard. After Bob passed away in 2002 she continued to go south, but she eventually sold her home and returned to the ranch. Bonnie lived at Primrose Retirement the last 10 years. Bonnie enjoyed working in her garden, her flower beds going on trips, especially a cruise, watching the Colorado Rockies and visiting a Casino. Most of all she loved being with her family.
Bonnie is survived by her children: Diane Wenande McCartney and her husband Ron of Sundance, Wyoming, Bill Wenande and his wife Marianne of Copenhagen, Denmark and Debbie Anderson and her husband Arlyn of Pine Haven, Wyoming. She leaves behind 6 grandchildren: Sunny Roberts, Lacy Barnes, Lexi Ostlund, Chris Wenande, Emily Wenande and Mikkel Hvidsteen; 9 great-grandchildren: Magnus and Mille Hvidsteen, Bailey and Bradie Barnes, Anderson, Creed and Crew Ostlund, Constantine and Nickolie Wenande as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Bonnie also leaves behind her very special Primrose Family, they meant so much to her. Caregivers: Julie, Brenda and Meagan, you had a very special place in her heart. Our family thanks you for all you did for her and lastly her canine companion, Candy. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bob; brothers: Bob, Paul and Bernard Rourke; sisters: Vione Lane and Kathryn Jackson.
Memorials in Bonnie’s name are suggested to benefit the Gazebo Gardens at the Primrose Retirement Community. Donations can be sent in Bonnie’s name to Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. 5th St., Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at gillettememorialchapel.com.
Some obituaries have been republished with permission from Gillette Memorial Chapel.