Bonnie May Nelson

Bonnie May Nelson died in Blacksburg, Virginia on February 7, 2021.

She was 83. She was preceded in death by her parents, Katherine and Arthur Rogers, and by her brother, Earl Rogers.

She will be missed and remembered by her sisters and brothers-in-law Jeanie and John Weber (Tulsa, Oklahoma) and Marilyn and Larry Loop (San Antonio, Texas), and by her three children: Alan Nelson (Hays, Kansas), Anne Nelson (Eagle River, Alaska) and Amy Nelson (Blacksburg, Virginia), as well as her son-in-law, Tom Ewing, and grandchildren Cameron Nelson and Sinclair “Claire” Ewing-Nelson.

Born in Oakley Kansas, on May 14, 1937, Bonnie grew up in Hays, Kansas, where she graduated in 1955 from Hays High School as the valedictorian. In 1957 she graduated from Colorado Women’s College and in 1959 she graduated from Fort Hays State College.

She married Roger Dean Nelson (also from Hays) in December 1958. She became an accomplished and globe-trotting homemaker, making a series of new cities and countries into comfortable homes for her growing family. After her divorce in 1991 she settled in Virginia Beach to be near her daughter, Anne, and put down deep roots in the community of faith and song surrounding Virginia Beach United Methodist Church and later the First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach. She continued to sing in the church choir and participate in Circle Rachel activities until the final year of her long illness. Last spring, she moved to Blacksburg to be closer to her daughter, Amy.

Bonnie loved shopping, travel and music. She was an accomplished harpist, avid bird watcher, and collector of fine china and stemware. She was a fabulous school teacher, capable travel agent and devoted mother. She will be remembered for her beauty, intelligence and keen wit.

She will be interred at Mount Allen Cemetery in Hays, Kansas. A celebration of her life will be held in Hays when it is safe for friends and family to gather. Memorial donations may be made to The Warm Hearth Foundation ( or to Circle Rachel or the Chancel Choir at First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach (

Published on February 20, 2021