Obituary: Bonnie Peppler
March 4, 1925 – November 11, 2022
Bonnie Berdine Peppler of Mead, age 97, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 11, 2022. She was born on March 4, 1925, to Alfred and Glenna Mathews Muhme in Longmont, Colorado. Raised on the corner of State Highway 66 and County Road 13, she attended Pearl Howlett School where her grandfather, Fred Muhme, served as president of the school board until she completed 8th grade.
Bonnie completed her high school education at Johnstown High School during World War II in 1943 and continued to graduate from the then Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado, in 1947, while completing her student teaching at Big Bend School near Gilcrest. She was a member of several departmental clubs and Sigma Upsilon sorority.
She spent the first two years of teaching in California where she earned $1,800/ year. She then taught one year in Denver and one year in Johnstown. The later job she would earn during an interview on school board member Elmer Shultz’s sugar beet field. In Johnstown, Bonnie became lifelong friends with fellow teacher, Lillie Carlson.
Bonnie spent her summer months working as a scale lady at the Mead Elevator and met a young farmer, Wilbert Peppler. On December 30, 1950, Bonnie and Wilbert married and from this union, they would have two children—Susan and Kent. Bonnie would leave her job in Johnstown after marrying Wilbert due to the school’s policy of not employing married female teachers.
While working in her yard in Mead during a short hiatus from teaching, a neighbor on the Mead School Board Margaret Eckel stopped to ask Bonnie if she would be interested in working at Mead Schools. Bonnie accepted the offer and taught in Mead from 1955 until 1986 for a total of 43 years in education. She thoroughly enjoyed her job and often complimented the parents of Mead because their children were so well behaved. During her tenure, Bonnie taught multiple generations of the same local families. Just prior to her death, Bonnie said, if she could fill up a classroom with farm children from old Mead families, she would go back to teaching in a heartbeat.
Bonnie was an active member of the Mead community, serving as the secretary for the Mead United Methodist Church and the clerk for the town of Mead in the 1950’s sending $3.00 a month water bills to the town citizens.
After retirement in 1986, Bonnie substitute taught until Wilbert’s health failed in 1990. Bonnie visited her husband almost every day in the nursing home. After Wilbert’s death in 1999, Bonnie spent a great deal of time traveling with her longtime friends Mary Ellen Litzenberger and Cathirine Pierce.
She also enjoyed attending senior exercise, senior lunch, serving as an election judge, and spending time with her Johnstown classmates and pinochle club.
Although a lifelong teacher, Bonnie’s favorite job was taking care of her grandchildren, Stacy, Ashley, and Tyson. They spent many days and nights at “Grandma Bonnie’s House” where the home was filled with sweets, television; and the word “no” rarely existed. The grandchildren’s love of reading was greatly influenced by her.
Bonnie spent her final years helping her family, enjoying her home, and tending to her beautiful flower garden.
Bonnie is preceded in death by her parents Alfred and Glenna Muhme, husband, Wilbert, sister, Marilyn Hartson and brother John Muhme.
She is survived by daughter Susan Peppler Smith (Ron) of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and son Kent Peppler (Colleen) of Mead. Grandchildren, Stacy Smith DiFilippo (Frank) of Ponte Vedra, Florida, Ashley Peppler Charnetski (Sam) of Grimes, Iowa, and Tyson Peppler (Lauren Lamm) of Denver. Great grandchildren, Caden and Hadley DiFilippo.
The family would like to thank TruCare Hospice for their assistance and requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made in her name to Mead United Methodist Church. P.O. 326, Mead, Colorado. 80542
A memorial service will be held on December 30, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Howe Mortuary 439 Coffman St. Longmont , Colorado.