Bonnie Jean Frisinger, 77, of Tioga, passed away peacefully with her family at her side on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.
Bonnie was born July 21, 1935, to Anton and Dora (Hauskey) Rehak, on the family farm southwest of Ross, in Robinson Township of Mountrail County. She was the fifth of 10 children and the first girl to be born in the family. She was raised on the family farm and attended grade school in the country west of the farm. She later moved to Ross with her Mom and siblings and finished grade school at Ross, where she graduated in 1951.
She was baptized, confirmed and a lifetime member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Ross. When she was a young girl she was known as “Sue” because a cousin, Stanley Prochaska, said her eyes reminded him of the center of the brown-eyed Susan flower. From then on she was called “Sue” by her family and friends. Years later her grandchildren all called her “Grandma Bonnie”.
Bonnie married Donald Cvancara on Sept. 2, 1953, at Ross. She babysat Karla, Kevin and Kerry Fretheim for a number of years in her home. To make ends meet she made lefse and sold it. Following Donnie’s death after a long illness in 1969, Bonnie was left, at the age of 32, to raise her young children alone. She continued to live in Ross and tended bar at the Hilltop Bar and worked part time at the Ross Motel as a housekeeper. She was the mayor of Ross for a number of years and helped organize many dances at the old Ross Hall; she enjoyed dancing and having people get together. She also loved planning family reunions.
Bonnie married Carl Frisinger on Dec. 22, 1973, in Ross. When he proposed, she answered, “Yes, I want to be a cowboy’s sweetheart.” The following spring, she moved to the Early Morning Red Angus Ranch, south of Tioga, to be with her new husband. In the early years of their marriage she was a furbearer trapper during the winter months and she enjoyed going for walks. She helped where needed on the ranch and had her own herd of cattle.
She loved gardening and raising flowers and sometimes she would have two or three gardens at one time. She always said gardening was her therapy. She loved to raise cabbage and was called the “Cabbage Queen” at the local farmers markets that she enjoyed and looked forward to participating in each year. Some years she planted up to 500 cabbage plants, 1,000 onion bulbs and other garden produce. Due to her failing health, three years ago she made the very difficult choice to give up gardening.
She was very close to her family. She loved to attend her grandchildren’s school programs, church activities and birthday parties. She also took her grandchildren to the Shrine Circus every year. She was a wonderful cook and her children and grandchildren loved her pancakes and “shishskis” fried from bread dough rolled in sugar. Her family looked forward to her famous calico beans and angel food cakes on birthdays.
She was a royal and active member of the Ross American Legion Auxiliary and served as its Poppy Chairman since 1973. Every year she enjoyed taking the girls to White Earth and Ross to distribute poppies and afterwards buying them a treat to eat. She was a member of the White Earth Saddle Club and helped with cooking at the trail rides, selling rodeo tickets, hanging up posters and collecting rodeo ads.
She loved listening to the radio and calling into the 660 KEYS station with birthday and anniversary wishes to her family and friends. She also submitted to local papers, memorial poems of deceased family members whom she missed. She lived on the ranch with Carl until recently, when she moved into the Tioga Medical Center due to her illness.
Bonnie will be deeply missed by her family and friends, but the memories will live on forever.
Blessed be her memory among us.
Bonnie is survived by: her husband, Carl, of Tioga; daughters, Jeanine Uran (Kent), of New Town, and Janelle Moe (Todd), of Williston; sons, Darold Cvancara (Miriam), of Bismarck, Duane Cvancara, of Grand Forks, and Douglas Cvancara (Sharri), of Wildrose; son-in-law, Bradley Baker, of Parshall; stepdaughters, Paulette Westrum (Rod), of Williston, Cindy Greenlee (Glenn), of Tioga, and Barbie Rodriguez (Daniel), of Williston; grandchildren, Justin Cvancara (Heather), Jason Cvancara, Heather Berger (Joe), John Cvancara, Nicholas Baker (Jessica), Nixie Anderson (Brent), Michelle Baker, Donald Uran (Jammie), Amber Uran, Alexis Cvancara, AJ Cvancara (Katy), Drew Cvancara (Kari), Kaylynn Moe and Jackson Moe; granddaughter-in-law, Makenzie Baker; great-grandchildren, Kathryn, Jonathan, Kaslynn, Megan, Samantha, Jaxon, Alexander, Nolan, Ashlynn, Brady, Bridger, Jacob, Jud, Cody, Natasha, Kiana, Hannah, Austyn, Bridger, Alaina, Anthony and Alivia; stepgrandchildren, Carson Dokken (Nikki), Michael Thompson, Erica Nkada (Pierre), Sarah Bila, Brent Myer, Bryce Myer, Travis Velo (Georgina), Isaac Rodriguez, Robert Westrum (Angie), Sheri Ulrich (Al), Heather and Amber Greenlee, Hope Midboe (Brian) and Holly Halvorson (Mark); 20 stepgreat-grandchildren; sister, Audrey Oldenberg (Hans), of St. Paul, Minn.; brothers, Ervin Rehak (Edna), of Williston, Howard Rehak (Janice), of Stanley, Dean Rehak, of Ross, and Delmer Rehak (Dana), of Big Sandy, Texas; brother-in-law, Gerald Frisinger (Sharon), of Arizona; sisters-in-law, Ann Dixon, of California, and Vera Bergstrom (Clinton), of Tioga; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Donald; daughter, Judy Baker; stepdaughter, Virginia Bila; sister, Doris Ogden; brothers, Richard and Roy Rehak, and infant brother, Anton Charles.
Funeral: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at 11 a.m., in First Lutheran Church, Tioga.
Visitation: Today, Feb. 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Springan Funeral Home, Stanley.
Family Service: Today at 5 p.m. in First Lutheran Church, Tioga.
Interment: Western Fraternal Cemetery, rural Ross.
Following the burial at 2:30 p.m., there will be a gathering and fellowship at the Ross Community Building.
Online condolences may be shared at (www.springanfuneralhome.com).