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Ervin L. “Bonnie” Bohnstengel

May 7, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Ervin L. "Bonnie" Bohnstengel, 97, formerly of Clutier and Tama-Toledo, passed away peacefully surrounded by members of his family on Friday, the 3rd of May, 2019 at Iowa River Hospice House in Marshalltown. Relatives and friends of Ervin and his family are welcome to a visitation from 5 to 7 P.M. on Friday, May 10, 2019 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Tama. All are invited to share memories of Ervin with the family during the Vigil Service at 7 PM Friday evening. This will be followed by a 40 & 8 service. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Patrick's at 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 11, 2019 with Father Michael Mescher officiating and Deacon Stan Upah assisting. A luncheon will follow. Burial with full military rites will be held at 1:30 PM on Saturday at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery, rural Clutier.

Ervin was born on December 27, 1921, the son of Louis and Hilda (Drews) Bohnstengel. He was the oldest of four children and attended school at Oneida No. 8. Fun times included going to town on Saturday nights.

Ervin entered the Army on September 11, 1942 and was discharged as a Corporal on October 22, 1945. During that time he was never allowed to come home on leave because he couldn't "swim". Ervin was sent to the front with Btry.A, 82nd F.A., 1st Cavalry Division. A proud memory he had of his time in service was freeing prisoners of a war camp in the Philippines. He received the Good Conduct Medal and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.

Article Photos

Ervin L. “Bonnie” Bohnstengel

Ervin rejoined his father working on the farm after his discharge.

He married the love of his life Mildred Hanus of Traer on August 5, 1951 at St. Wenceslaus Church, rural Clutier. Ervin with the help of Mildred farmed in the Clutier area until 2000 and they later retired to Tama. He and Mildred loved going to dances.

Ervin joined the American Legion upon return from the service. Until he moved to Tama he was a very active member of the Clutier American Legion having served as Post Commander and Adjutant, Tama County Commander and Third District Vice Commander. He was a member for 74 years. He was also a proud member of the 40 & 8. Ervin continued his membership in the 1st Cavalry Division and traveled with his family to many parts of the United States to attend their yearly reunions.

Ervin was an active member of Immaculate Conception Church in Clutier before it closed. He served on its Parish Council, was an usher and worked many a church dinner carrying roasters of food.

Ervin loved to play cards having belonged to a neighborhood card club with Mildred for many years and he hosted weekly pepper parties at the Clutier American Legion for several years. Family gatherings always had to include playing pepper with his children and grandchildren. He also enjoyed playing solitaire and cribbage.

Ervin hardly missed the activities of his grandchildren. He passed on his love of putting jigsaw puzzles together to his family.

One of the most difficult times in his life was when his daughter, Kathryn, was born and passed away on the same day that his brother and his sister-in-law, Leo and Dorothy Bohnstengel, died in a car accident.

Ervin treasured his family and is survived by two daughters whom he loved and supported: Nancy (Arlo) Cibula of Vining and Sue (John) Fink of Marshalltown; seven grandchildren who he cherished: Jennifer (Sam) Hulme of Clutier, Brian (Jen) Cibula of San Jose, California, Matthew (Tina) Cibula of Clutier, Michael Fink of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Joey Fink (Sarah DiSabatino) of Providence, Rhode Island, Katie Fink of Marshalltown, and Patrick (Hannah) Fink of St. Louis, Missouri and eight great-grandchildren who he adored: Thomas and Emily Hulme and Brayton, Shawna, Dustin, Drayson, Aiden and Jacob Cibula and a sister, Irene Hach of Dysart. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

Ervin was also preceded in death by his wife, Mildred on September 30, 2009, his parents and a sister Dorothy Dengler.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Iowa River Hospice House in Marshalltown or the American Legion 40 & 8 nursing scholarships.

Please share a memory of Ervin at under obituaries.

A very special thank you goes out to the caring, wonderful people at the Iowa River Hospice House who we know grew to love our dad!



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