Bessie Bonita “Bonnie” Barsness, age 93, went home to be with her Lord on December 26, 2021, at Brookdale Assisted Living in Boise, Idaho. Her daughter, Becky, and son-in-law, Mike Hazel were with her when she passed.
Bonnie was born on March 2, 1928, in Pikeville, Tennessee to Floyd and Della Wheeler. She was the fourth of eight children. When Bonnie was two years old, the family moved to Castleford, Idaho where they lived for many years. Her brothers and father farmed and ranched around Castleford and in the Blue Gulch area of Owyhee County.
In 1945, Bonnie graduated from Castleford High School. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Portland, Oregon and helped with the war effort. It was there she met Ray Barsness at a bus stop, and they were married in 1947. This union would last until Ray’s death in 2018, just under 71 years.
In 1950, son Daniel was born in McMinnville, Oregon. Soon after, the young family moved to Buhl, Idaho where Ray and Luke Parnell established a lumber yard, Citizens Building Supply. Ray would operate this business until his retirement in 1986. Ray and Bonnie also had several other ventures and owned a number of rental properties, which Bonnie helped manage. As the years went by, Karen was born in 1953, John in 1960, and Rebecca in 1962. The family moved to Twin Falls in 1970, where Ray and Bonnie lived for over 40 years.
Bonnie had a passionate love for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and was overwhelmed by His saving grace. The intense love she felt from Him gave her a deep sense of purpose, compassion, and urgency to share the good news of the free gift of salvation with others. She was involved with Christian Women’s Club and other Christian organizations and taught women's Bible study groups. She served as Chaplain for a time at Magic Valley Memorial Hospital. Bonnie and Ray were so generous with their time and resources. They were philanthropists in the truest sense of the word.
Bonnie is survived by her children, Dan (Carol) Barsness of Filer; Karen Ray of Boise; John (Cindy) Barsness of Meridian; and Becky (Mike) Hazel of Boise; and one sister, Alma Hursh of Nampa. Bonnie and Ray were blessed with 10 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Raymond Barsness; parents, Floyd and Della Wheeler of Castleford; brothers, Vernon, James, Edward and Allen Wheeler of Castleford; and sisters, Lenore Boehlke of Nampa; and Leona Parnell of Buhl.
The family would like to thank our sister, Becky Hazel, for her many hours spent caring for Mom in her final months.
A funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, January 6, 2022, at Farmer Funeral Chapel, 130 9th Ave. N, Buhl. Pastor Scotty Brown will officiate. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bonnie’s life.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Bonnie’s memorial webpage at www.farmerfuneralchapel.com.
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