Mary Hope Bonde was born on October 22, 1947 in Emery, Wisconsin. Her parents were Loren (Gus) and Faithe Bonde. Mary’s father was a federal game warden for the U.S. Department of the Interior. Shortly after Mary’s birth, her family moved to Grand Rapids, Minnesota where Mary attended grade school. When her father retired, he moved the family to Lincoln, Nebraska.
Mary attended St. John the Apostle School during junior high, followed by Pius X High School. In her four years at Pius X, she received academic awards and graduated in 1965. Mary then enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, obtaining a social work degree. During her four years at the university, she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and worked part-time to help pay for college.
After her graduation from UNL, Mary worked a few years for Douglas County, then in 1974 was hired by Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, where she worked until her retirement on December 31, 1999. Mary was a medical social worker, which involved doing many different duties helping patients.
She was much loved and respected by hospital staff and physicians – especially one who persuaded her to marry him in 1985. They had 28 wonderful years together until Mary became ill with pancreatic cancer and passed on December 22, 2013. Mary will always be remembered for her smile that could light up a room. Many people commented about this smile after her death. Because of who she was, we are setting up the Mary (Bonde) Watson scholarship fund to honor her memory. She is still much loved and never forgotten.