Evans Funeral Home
"Compassionate Funeral Service"
Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911
Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937
Bonita “Bonnie” Byberg
Bonita “Bonnie” Byberg, 77, passed away on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shephard, New Rockford, ND.
Bonita “Bonnie” Kay (Johnson) Byberg was born on the farmstead to Blaine Johnson and Freda (Kamphaugh) Johnson on April 18, 1945. Her childhood was spent climbing trees and playing in her playhouse on the Johnson farmstead in Northwood, ND. The playhouse had a little table and chairs made in Sheboygan, WI, which is ironic because now a daughter of hers teaches there. Bonnie decorated her playhouse by painting it and using her children’s Fiesta dishes and cups, which later she collected from garage sales. Her sidekicks growing up were her late cousin, Beverly Kamphaugh and sister, Wanda (Johnson) Bjerke. They would play for hours outside. All the while growing up her Christian faith was very important. The Johnson family went to the Country Lutheran church which had been attended by her relatives. Bonnie started school in a one room schoolhouse along with her sister, Wanda. After attending the one room school house through the 8th grade, she then graduated from Northwood High School. After high school Bonnie earned her Associates Degree in Business from the Interstate Business College in Fargo, ND.
One summer after college she was working as a waitress at the Northwood Cafe when in walked a group of men who were building the nursing home in town. Marlo Dale Byberg saw Bonnie and asked if she wanted a ride home. She said, “No” because she had a green car, but really her car was brown. After Marlo came into the cafe more, Bonnie eventually said, “Yes” to a date. They dated nine months long distance while Marlo completed his Bachelor’s Degree at Valley City State University. Bonnie and Marlo married on December 30, 1965. They celebrated their love for 56 years.
The young couple first lived in Kathryn, ND, then moved to Gwelph, ND, back to Kathryn, ND and finally settled in New Rockford, ND. Bonnie and Marlo moved for his teaching job. The new couple performed Norwegian Dances in honor of their Norwegian heritage. Bonnie cared and loved her children, Tamara Byberg-Kautzer, Trisha Walsh, Trent Byberg, and Travis Byberg. Yes, all “T’s” as her late brother-in-law, Neil Bjerke joked, “Ain’t that tweet.” Marlo and Bonnie joined the First Lutheran church with their family in tow. The First Lutheran church played a big role in the family’s lives. Bonnie baked the best desserts for the potlucks at church, such as her famous popcorn cake and she sang in the choir along with Marlo. The highlight of church was when the sextet group was formed. Bonnie sang alto with five other women in the group. Their call to fame happened when they were asked to sing for the governor of ND. Many nights Bonnie spent time practicing at her piano and going to rehearsals. She enjoyed every minute of it and so did the community. Bonnie acted, danced and sang in musicals. Even later in life she loved going to the theater performances in New Rockford. Shopping for Bonnie was a sport, she always had a different new quilt in her trunk deciding if it was the right one. She loved shopping for the whole family. New Rockford ushered in really great friends for Bonnie and Marlo. So many memories with friends from dressing up for Halloween, having an adult Olympics competition and scavenger hunts with friends. She played in a bowling league and in a golfing league. Bonnie never wanted to miss the Monday Night Pizza crew at Bucket Joe’s and the occasional trip to Spirit Lake looking to win big. When going out with friends, she always had a joke to share. She kept jokes in her purse on old napkins or pieces of paper. So funny to pull out a joke and read it! Bonnie could reach inside and find humor. With her friends Bonnie loved to dance. She enjoyed dancing so much that she earned the nickname, “Bebop.” The friends that she had in New Rockford were and still are family.
Bonnie worked as clerk in Medical Records at the New Rockford Hospital until it closed and then as a CNA at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd.
At Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas the extended family gathered at either Bonnie’s parents farm in Northwood, ND or at Marlo’s parents in Valley City, ND. Even though the family was spread out, the importance of being with family during the holidays is still important. Every Christmas Eve the candlelight service at First Lutheran could hear harmonies coming from the Byberg section. Bonnie valued her family and extended family. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws, all were welcome and important.
As her children graduated and moved to different places, Bonnie and Marlo traveled and visited Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Visiting the families and seeing the grandchildren was one adventure after another. “Granny Banany,” as Bridget named her, enjoyed watching her eight grandchildren grow up: Bridget, Jack, Jacob, Hunter, Clara, Baylee, Brinley and Mason. Granny Banany loved watching the grandchildren play sports and play instruments. She bragged as to how smart the grandchildren are. Every 4th of July the Byberg family would gather in New Rockford to celebrate the nation and being together as a family. Every year Bonnie was excited to get tickets for everyone to see the plays and musicals in New Rockford. She bragged about all the talent in the productions. The whole family loved going to the productions.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents, Blaine and Freda Johnson, nephew, Larry Bjerke, and brother-in-law, Neil Bjerke. She will be greatly missed by her husband Marlo and their four children: Tamara Byberg-Kautzer (Matt Kautzer), Trisha Walsh (Tom Walsh), Trent Byberg (Lori Byberg), and Travis Byberg (Jodi Byberg). She will also be missed by her grandchildren, Bridget, Jack, Jacob, Hunter, Clara, Baylee, Brinley, and Mason. Survived by her sister Wanda Bjerke and brother Greg Johnson. Her special neighbors and friends will miss her, too.
Bonnie’s Visitation will be Wednesday, 2:00PM-6:30PM at Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford.
A Funeral Service will be held Thursday, August 11, 2022 at 2:00PM at First Lutheran Church, New Rockford.
Her Burial will be at the Hillside Cemetery, Valley City, ND. Friday at Noon.
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