Bonnie L. Mintun Ellis, 87, of Alliance, Nebraska passed away Friday, June 8, 2018 at Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance. Her memorial service will be held Friday, June 15, 2018, 10:00 a.m. at St. John’s United Lutheran Church, 2090 Emerson, Alliance, NE.
Bonnie was born December 1, 1930 in Stockham, Nebraska one of four daughters to George and Evelyn (Hunt) Mintun. Her family moved to Kearney, Nebraska at a young age, where she graduated from Kearney High School and from Kearney State Teachers’ College with a teaching certificate. It was there she met Richard “Dick” Ellis of Trenton, NE. They were wed in 1950 and had four children. The couple divorced in 1984.
Rarely did Bonnie slow down and she had many great accomplishments throughout her life. In 1975 Bonnie, along with Mrs. Alberta Olson and Mrs. Natha Wilkinson, organized the Box Butte General Hospital Auxiliary. For 40 plus years, this important organization has continued to promote the well-being and advancement of the hospital. In the 1970’s Bonnie, a strong proponent of her own children’s college educations, went back to college and graduated from Chadron State College with a Bachelor of Art in social work. She worked for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in Alliance and Scottsbluff. In 1997 she, along with a delegation of Nebraskans, was selected by Governor Ben Nelson to represent the state at The Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to representatives from all 50 states; President William Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, President George Bush, Barbara Bush, General Colin Powell and host Oprah Winfrey were in attendance. Truly never retiring, she continued to work as a para at the Las Vegas Day School for five years.
Of all of her accomplishments, none compared to her love of raising her four children and the pride and love she had for her eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. These include her son Scott (Barb Nissen) Ellis of Prague, Nebraska; daughters Sue Gerdau, Shannon (Tim) Garwood both of Alliance, NE; Shelli (Bill) Gialketsis of Las Vegas Nevada. Grandchildren include Jason (Allie) Piccoli, Denver, CO; Tony (Courtney) Piccoli, Lincoln, NE; Scott Chleboard, Las Vegas, NV; Shaun (Amanda Blender) Garwood, Parker Co, Kelly (Aaron) Warehime, New York City, NY; Erin Garwood, Portland OR; Reed Gialketsis and George Gialketsis, Las Vegas, NV and great-grandchildren Mia Piccoli, Liza Piccoli, Tallulah and Elliott Blender, and Eli Chleboard and her four-legged companion, Sukee.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her three sisters; Pauline Nickel, Donna Loomis, and Helen Wood.
Best said by her son, Scott at her passing, “This morning the Ellis clan lost it’s Center. The person our lives have revolved around since we took our first breath passed. Our mother gave us life, fed us, taught us right from wrong, pushed us, paddled our butts, kissed our wounds, and loved us with every ounce of her being. Our mother will be missed by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, family, and friends.”
Memorials may be sent to Box Butte Health Foundation, P.O. Box 810, Alliance, NE 69301; United Methodist Women, 704 Box Butte, Alliance, NE 69301 or a place of donor’s choice.