Bonnie Elenita Lorenz
January 19, 1929 – February 7, 2021
Bonnie Barker Lorenz, age 92, was born on January 19, 1929 in Calloway, Kentucky to Frank and Mary Barker; the oldest of 6 children. The family later moved to the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. She passed away on February 7, 2021 in Greeley, outliving all her siblings. Bonnie was a member of the Loveland Seventh-day Adventist church. She attended Campion Academy in Loveland, Colorado where she made life-long friends. She then attended Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing. Bonne married Calvin Lorenz in 1953 in Denver Colorado and they had four children. Bonnie was a natural caregiver, using her gifts to work as a nurse in Greeley for more than forty years. Bonnie’s life as one dear person writes: “Lifetime Friendships are irreplaceable treasures ... Seldom matched by other life experiences. These kinds of friendships seem to be few and far between in the span of one's life. Bonnie graced my life from the time I was a very little girl. --She was my Mother's friend and nursing colleague; but much more than that. Yes, they worked together, they played together, but most importantly they emulated what true friendship IS. Bonnie was generous of spirit, humble and unassuming, fun-loving, and ready to do her part in any situation. One such "situation" for my mother and myself was when my father, stricken by lung cancer, laid dying in the hospital. Bonnie was there, there through it all by our sides and ; staying when we needed to take a break and rest from the grueling process of Dad's passing. Who does THAT other than a true friend whose empathy and ability to truly FEEL, inside herself, the emotions you were dealing with and strongly yet quietly share the time of that moment fully with you? And so, I want to share my love and thanks to this beautiful spirit who emulated the character of Jesus Christ in every manner. Quietly she went about her life giving 150% to those sharing her world. For us, we shared: gardening experiences, vegetable and fruit canning experiences, vacations of a lifetime, graduation and birthday celebrations, occasional lunches and dinners "just because", gigantic laughs and oceans of tears while we all were moving forward through each of our lives. She was always ready to be the friend you needed. WHETHER BONNIE WANTED IT OR NOT, she cultivated my deep love for her. She is my second Mom. She brought me joy and a sense of connectedness and safety which had exited upon the passing of my parents. [As an only child, this has been HUGE in my life] WHETHER BONNIE INTENDED TO OR NOT, she showed me Christ through her being, spirit, and actions. [not just me/us, but to ALL individuals in which we witnessed her interactions.] There are not enough meaningful WORDS to describe this HERO, not enough TIME to share with you the breadth of all of her attributes, not enough PRAISE available to heap upon her well deserving person. The GOODNESS in her could not help but reveal itself! Bonnie, I LOVE you, we LOVE you, and we all will MISS you terribly!”
Bonnie no doubt displayed this type of character to everyone she had in her life. All could agree this is one remarkable example of friendship, serving, loving and compassion for all.
After retiring, Bonnie was not the type to sit and relax. She spent her time gardening, shopping garage sales for bargains, canning and freezing fruits and vegetables that would be shared with others. Her yard was full of beautiful flowers every summer. She also enjoyed drives through Rocky Mountain National Park marveling at the scenery and wildlife. Bonnie traveled through Europe, South America, Central America, Canada, Mexico and forty-nine of the fifty United States. Alaska was the only state she did not visit, but she always had a passion to cruise there. Bonnie collected souvenirs from all her travels and displayed them throughout her house.
The long hot summers kept her busy tending to her beautiful, fragrant rose garden. She loved cutting the roses and sharing them with others. Frequently she would call her friends and say, “I have some roses for you.” She stayed active after retirement by working parttime at a local green house during the spring and summer months where she mastered her gardening skills.
Bonnie enjoyed gatherings with family and friends. She hosted the annual birthday waffle breakfast in April for all the April birthdays of friends and family. She enjoyed cooking meals and playing games at her house with friends from church monthly. She was known to cook a meal for a sick friend and drive 30 miles to her special friends to share the meal. Bonnie always had a smile on her face and enjoyed her family and friends when they came to visit.
One of the most meaningful periods in Bonnie’s retirement was having two of her sisters living in Greeley and her father and his wife living next door. They gathered nightly for dinner at Bonnie’s table for food and games. Family was special to Bonnie and she shared a close kinship with her beloved sisters. Barker family reunions were always an event Bonnie looked forward to. She tried to attend every family reunion throughout the years. The highlight of the Barker reunions was the Sunday morning biscuits and gravy meal. A Barker tradition handed down through the generations.
Bonnie is predeceased by her son Terry Lorenz. She is survived by daughter Wanda Buderus, son Ted Lorenz and daughter Jan (Chris) Nickerson, granddaughters Kelly Lorenz, Ashley (Michael) Blasy, Kaylin Nickerson, Madelyn Nickerson, and two great grandchildren.
Memorial service will be held on February 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm at the Greeley Seventh day Adventist Church, livestream on YouTube Greeley SDA. The family suggests memorial contributions may be sent to Union College, Advancement Office, 3800 S. 48th Street, Lincoln, NE 68506 in honor of Bonnie Lorenz to support nursing scholarships.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Bonnie Elenita Lorenz
DeeAnn and Tim Buller
February 21, 2021
Our dear aunt Bonnie will be greatly missed!
I’ve never met anyone with more stamina and incredible work ethic. She was always willing to go the extra mile for you. Our “wish list” gave her great motivation to find it at the next garage sale. And she always found just want we needed! I will miss our visits and her beautiful flowers and her unique chuckle! See you soon aunt Bonnie❤️ Love to all the family.
February 15, 2021
While I worked at Weld County General Hospital it was well known that there was a group of dedicated staff RNs that were the backbone of the nursing staff. Their dedication to patients and the hospital made Weld County General a standout in Northern Colorado, Bonnie was one of those dedicated nurses. Bonnie retired after a long and fruitful career. At the time of my employment I had no idea that Bonnie's beautiful daughter Jan would become my daughter in law, it was a real surprise when my son Chris informed us of their engagement. Bonnie had raised a wonderful daughter who is a a vital member of our family. We pray for Jan and the rest of her family. Ken and Jo Nickerson.
February 14, 2021
My Grandma was a big source of love, safety, and stability in my life. Her career was spent as a nurse serving people for many years. But I got to enjoy time with her while she was retired, so I knew her as a master gardener, amazing cook, and an expert at spotting a good deal at garage sales.
I enjoyed riding in her rather large car, as we drove up the Colorado Rocky Mountains to see the elk or as we cruised around the countryside looking at Christmas lights together. I spent countless nights sleeping over at her house, and usually one of her first questions to me was, “what do you want me to cook for you?”
Some of my favorite memories as a kid were spent around her table, especially during the season that some of her sisters lived close to her and my Great grandpa was still alive. It was incredible to watch the sisters prepare a meal together – each person had a job and they carefully danced around each other in her small kitchen – you could tell they had been cooking, canning, and freezing peaches and sweet corn together for years. Then after we feasted on whatever delicious meal they prepared (one dish and/or dessert always contained cream), we’d clear the table and pull out the dominoes to play chicken foot. My Grandma seemed happiest whenever she was hosting – “the more they merrier” seemed to really be her motto. Her door was literally always open to whoever wanted to drop by, and I can’t remember a time that someone came to her house without either being invited to stay for dinner or leaving with their hands full of something from her garden, or a jar of applesauce or pickles that she had canned. She loved people through her generosity and hospitality.
She also loved her garden – especially her flowers! Right now the roses surrounding her house are lying dormant until they’re ready to bloom again. In a similar way, my Grandma is resting until that incredible day when Jesus calls her home Heavenly Garden. She's going to love it there!
February 13, 2021
This picture defines her life ~ life long caregiver to countless patients and family members. She I was the hardest working woman I’ve known. Long after retiring from nursing, she enjoyed gardening, bargain shopping at garage sales, cooking for a crowd and canning/freezing fruits and vegetables to share with others. That’s what she did. She gave and gave to others all her life. She was tired. I will miss her and can only hope my girls will aspire to be as strong and driven as my mom was. Rest In Peace Mom. Love you. ❤️🌹
February 11, 2021
Bonnie was a wonderful mother-in-law and a dear friend. I will miss her and her wonderful flower garden and her Christmas letters!
Rest In Peace,