Yvonne “Bonnie” Joan French went home to her Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ on June 29, 2018. She looked forward to walking in the garden with Jesus and now has received her promise of eternal life by His grace and through faith in Him.
Yvonne was born in Racine on March 19, 1936 to Oscar & Julitta (Peterson) Scheel. She attended Racine Lutheran High, completing her senior year at Washington Park High School and graduated in 1954. After graduation, she was employed at Western Publishing in the billing department until marriage. She was united in marriage to Elert (Bob) LeClair from 1955-1975 & they had 5 children, Denise, Lynda, John, Chere & Andrea. On Sept 16, 1978 she married Donald French and they enjoyed 31 years together until his death on May 7, 2010.
Bonnie was a very caring, giving, and selfless person who always put others first. She was a very content, stay-at-home mom during her children’s childhood years & her children were blessed to have her there to make a warm & loving home for them. She was later employed at Welch Electric & Master Appliance until her retirement.
Bonnie had a deep and abiding faith in Jesus, and led her five children to the Lord, a gift they can never repay. She never wavered in her faith even during her battle with advanced stage melanoma in 2004 from which her Lord Jesus, miraculously healed her. Bonnie was a life-long member of Emmaus Lutheran Church, the oldest Danish-Lutheran church in America. She was active in Luther League as a youth & especially remembered the fun she had at the old-fashioned church picnics. Bonnie served in ministry at her church by hosting fellowship on Sundays, bringing all sorts of delicious homemade treats for her many friends at Emmaus. She also enjoyed preparing luncheons for the Senior’s fellowship group.
Bonnie’s many hobbies included woodworking, following in the footsteps of her father, a carpenter, who sat Bonnie on his work bench while working in his workshop. Bonnie & husband Don worked together making all sorts of beautiful wood crafts for their children & grandchildren in their retirement years. Bonnie was creative and artistic; she loved to paint and draw and filled many sketch pads with her art. She was gifted in sewing, just like her mom, & could make virtually any project without a pattern, including uniquely designed Halloween costumes for all of her grandchildren. She also loved cooking and making delicious meals for her family. You could always find her in her kitchen. Bonnie & Don spent many years camping with their family at various campgrounds in Wisconsin. They often took their grandchildren camping with them, making special memories for them while fishing, making crafts, & eating smores & pudgy pies by the fire with Grandma & Grandpa.
Bonnie will be deeply missed by her children, Denise (Jerry) Pipol of Union Grove, Lynda LeClair, Chere (Colin) Cronin, and Andrea (Ken) Saylor all of Racine; her 10 grandchildren, Danielle, Justin, Moriah, Destiny, Athena, Katielynn, Dana, Carly, Krystle & Stephen; and 11 great-grandchildren, Arael, Guillermo, Chloe, Dayton, Mylee, Lennyn, Catalina, Donavin, Kaia, Gavin, and Adalyn. She also survived by her brother, Rev. Russell (Judi) Scheel of Penn Yan, NY and many nieces and nephews. Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar & Julitta Scheel; husband, Donald French; son, John LeClair; brother, Warren Scheel; & sisters, Shirley Psiones & Alice Scheel.
A homecoming celebration for Bonnie will be held at Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home on Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 12 p.m. with Chaplain Terry Peterson officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Thursday at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will be held at Graceland Cemetery. Memorials in her memory, if desired, can be given to Emmaus Lutheran Church, Samaritan’s Purse, or the Alzheimer’s/Dementia Association.
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