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Bonnie Giles, 83 - December 17, 2008


Bonnie Arlene Giles, 83, of rural Ainsworth, died Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008, at her home.
Services were held on Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Evangelical Free Church at Ainsworth with the Revs. Mick Thornton and Bruce Beebout officiating. Burial took place at the Purdum Cemetery.
Giles was born Oct. 4, 1925, to Laurence A. and Roxy Ruby (Body) Keys eight miles north of Elsmere at the family home.
She became “Sis” to her younger brothers, Keith and Ted, according to family members. Her love of the hills, horses and cattle as well as hard work was nurtured through times with her father, and her skills in the home and caring for others she learned from her mother.
Giles attended elementary school at Pleasant Hill and the North Elsmere School. Following two years of high school at Purdum and two years at Curtis School of Technical Agriculture, she graduated in 1942, at the age of 16.
Following two years at Nebraska Wesleyan University, she returned to the Sandhills and worked in the dental office of Dr. Leo Beattie.
She was united in marriage on Sept. 16, 1945, to Joe Giles at her parents’ home north of Elsmere. They began their married life a mile south of Elsmere working for her husband’s father. To this union, five children were born.
In May of 1958, she and her family moved to their own homestead one-mile west of Ainsworth, and in 2004 moved to their current home six-miles south of Ainsworth, welcoming all who entered, said family members. The couple had opened their home to their nephews during their high school years, and enjoyed sharing their lives.
Giles was a tireless worker in her home and community, according to family members, sharing her expertise with bountiful gardens and canning of foods. She could often be found on her lawn mower or tending her flowers.
She served as a Sunday School teacher at her church as well as a superintendent and belonged to several Bible study groups and home missions.
Giles was a generous person and giving of her time, skills and resources, said family members. She also volunteered at the Bloodmobile and the Brown County Hospital thrift shop.
She accomplished most everything she set her mind to and was an expert seamstress, making shirts, dresses and quilts for her children and grandchildren, according to family members. She supported her family’s activities and her homemade bread was legendary in the family.
Giles was preceded in death by: her beloved son, Mike; her parents, Laurence and Roxy Keys; son-in-law, Jerry Nance.
Survivors include: her husband of 63 years, Joe; four daughters—Jo (Roger) McCoy and Erin (Terry) Allen, all of Ainsworth, Karen Nance of North Platte, and Marcia (Rod) Speck of Gothenburg; eight grandchildren—Roxy and Korey Schow of Paxton, James and Mandy McCoy and Nathaniel, Lydia, Benjamin and Gabriel Allen, all of Ainsworth, and Scott and Adam Speck of Gothenburg; a great-grandchild, August Schow of Paxton; two brothers—Keith Keys and Ted (Marlea) Keys of Elsmere; brothers- and sisters-in-law—Charles and Ina Jean Giles, Ruth and John Sullivan of Broken Bow, Marylou Giles of Ainsworth; several nieces and nephews.
Memorials are suggested to the family or donor’s choice.

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