LaVonne “Bonnie” Chatfield

LaVonne “Bonnie” Chatfield

LaVonne A. "Bonnie" Chatfield, 87, formerly of Schuyler, died Friday, February 19, 2021, at Nye Point Health in Fremont.  Her body was donated for medical study.


Memorial Service Thursday, March 4, 2021,  7:00 P.M.

Visitation 5-7 P.M.

Kracl Funeral Chapel, Schuyler  Jerry L. Kracl, Officiating

Family Greeting friends 5-7 P.M.

Bonnie was born in Concordia KS to Maurine Ullom and Ross Medcalfe on April 10th 1933. She was raised by her mother Maurine and Stepdad Leonard “Mike” Fraka who she was grateful to have.  She grew in the Concordia/Belleville area where she attended grade school and High School.  She graduated from Belleville High School with the class of 1951.  She and Donnie R. Chappell were married that fall in October 1951 where they resided and welcomed four boys Allan, Randy, Barry and Mark to their family.  She was a homemaker, she and the boys enjoyed following Don to his many rodeo events he was in during the hot Kansas summers. They later divorced and she married Wilson W. “Chatty” Chatfield.  To this union they had 3 children, Laurie, Mike and Lynda to their family.

Bonnie and Chatty moved to Nebraska and eventually made a permanent home in Schuyler when the children were young and she continued to live there until she had gotten sick with Guillain-Garré syndrome in the late fall of 2010.  After a month long stay at UNMC, the illness left her paralyzed from the neck down, with little hope of ever leaving a skilled nursing home.  The health professionals felt she would not be a good candidate for a higher level of rehab so the decision was made for her to come to North Bend at Birchwood Manor so she could at least be closer to her daughter and family.  After a grueling eight month stay while she worked her tail off with physical therapy and some great staff at Birchwood manor she ended up defying her odds and became known as quite a success story by her neurologist at the Med Center.  Eight months after checking into the nursing home she was able to walk out and live independently in North Bend close to her daughter Lynda and her family so they could help her out when needed. Her first husband Donnie in 2016, came to visit after he has had some medical problems also.  She decided to go to Kansas for a visit and to help him out a bit and ended with her staying there until he went into the nursing home.  She then came back to North Bend in October of 2020 but her health was not  good and she ended up in the hospital and Skilled Care at Nye Legacy.  Her last 2 months were at Nye Point skilled nursing home in Fremont where she was cared for and looked after like family, which was a big relief since Covid19 restricted visitors from visiting.

Bonnie grew up as an only child and often said growing up in the country of rural Kansas as a kid was so hard and lonely and she never wished it on anyone.  So it was obvious Bonnie had many things she enjoyed but none compared to her grandchildren, children, great grandchildren and her dogs.  Unable to talk at her last visit with her daughter the day before she passed she still made it evident that she needed to know how everyone was, especially her grandchildren, children and her beloved dog Katie.  Needing to comfort her mom and let her know that everyone was alright, Lynda went down the list with the latest news and updates of the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren knowing those were the things she wanted to know, just like the normal conversations in the past.  It was then she finally relaxed.

Some of the things Bonnie did in her little spare time she let herself have to relax, was DIY projects around the old house on 8th street. She loved to be out in the yard planting plants and doing outdoor projects.  She also loved cook to learned to cook for just one.  Other things she enjoyed were rafts, craft shows, sewing, watching quilting shows, as well as collecting things, way too many to list but family will tell you she never met a pretty dish, kitchen gadget or power tool she didn’t like, come to love or think she could live without.  She enjoyed watching Husker football and NFL football on Sundays with her grandson.   At the end of the day and on her day off her biggest enjoyment and what she always looked forward to coming home to was her beloved fur family member/dog, while relaxing at home. While living her last years in Schuyler it was Perkie she felt so lucky to adopt from the Schuyler Vet Clinic and Katie she acquired when she was in Kansas.

Bonnie had many friends she met through the years while working at Woods Bros Sand and Gravel, Johnnies Steak House, Behlen Mfg and her last place of employment at Cargill where she was employed for 25 years until she was forced to retire due to health at 77 years old.  She did not take to retirement as happily as most and making it known  that retiring at only 77 was not her decision and she didn’t like it at all.  She used to say it was not a glamorous place to work but she never wanted to leave not on her terms as she spent many hours and way too many overtime hours there rarely taking time off.

Bonnie leaves behind sons: Allan (Lori) Chappell, Versailles, KY, Randy Chappell, Burrton, KS, Mark Chappell, David City, NE and Mike Chatfield Schuyler, daughters: Laurie (Bryce) Meyer of Ricketts, IA and Lynda (Tom) Cerny North Bend, NE. and stepson Stepsons Wison.  " Bill" (MaryAnn) Chatfield Kansas City, KS, Lonnie Chatfield Belleville, KS, Brad ( Pam) Belleville KS, also her friend and first husband Donnie Chappell, Hutchinson KS, cousins Ronnie Ullom and Buddy Morrow who she was lucky enough to spend time with when they came for extended visits with her parents.  She also leaves behind her 25 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren and 3 on the way as well as several step grand and great grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her son Barry Chappell (May 2020) stepson Randy Chatfield, her mother Maurine and stepfather Leonard “Mike” Fraka and her 2nd husband Wilson “Chatty” Chatfield.

In Lieu of flowers, plants and statues the family requests memorials be directed to the family so they can make donations to animal shelters in her name.

The family would like to Thank Everyone who has reached out to them for support, comfort, prayers and stories. The overwhelming response to the loss of our mother and grandmother has only supported what we knew that she had touched many lives in a positive way and will be dearly missed by many.

Bonnie’s wish since her GBS diagnosis was to donate her body to the Anatomical society to help with research, teaching and learning to medical students and to help find more out about Guillain Barre Syndrome and other health issues. Family was advised from the Anatomical Society  Her remains will be returned to the family any time from a few months to four years depending on the type of research they do . At that time a family burial will take place.