Lorraine (Enger) Bonnichsen, age 97, of Blaine died July 3, 2016 at White Pine Assisted Living in Blaine. A visitation will be held from 7:00 – 8:00 P.M. Monday, July 11th with a brief service at 7:15 P.M. at Strike Funeral Home – Cambridge Chapel. Pastor Howard Skulstad will officiate. A graveside service will be held Tuesday at 5:00 P.M. at Highmore Cemetery, Highmore, South Dakota.
Belva “Lorraine” Enger was born on December 2, 1918 to Elmina and Frank Enger in Highmore, South Dakota. Lorraine, known as “Babe” to her family, attended elementary school in southern Hyde County and graduated from Highmore High School in 1936.
On August 2, 1940 Lorraine married Kenneth Wanless and they had three sons: Bruce, Dennis and Terry. Lorraine was a charter member of the Highmore Women’s Civic League.
On December 2, 1950 Lorraine wed Anton “Slim” Bonnichsen and they had one daughter, Bonnie.
In 1952 Lorraine and Slim moved to Ottertail County in Minnesota where they operated a dairy farm until 1976. Lorraine also worked for many years as secretary for the school nurse at the Fergus Falls Jr. High School.
Lorraine and Slim were selected in 1976 to drive the Minnesota chuck wagon on the Bicentennial Wagon Train. They departed from Minneapolis on April 12, 1976 and traveled across country through snow, rain, wind and heat to arrive in Valley Forge, PA by July 4, 1976. In 1986 they sold the farm and moved into Dalton, MN. Lorraine spent the years in Dalton being active in her church by singing in the choir and serving on the church council. She served as president of the local senior citizens organization and ran for city mayor. Lorraine was voted as West Ottertail County Senior Citizen of the Year and she and Slim also had the honor of reigning as King and Queen over the Dalton Threshermen’s Celebration.
In June of 2001 Lorraine moved to Staples, MN where she resided in a senior living apartment until January 2016 when her family moved her to an assisted living facility in Blaine, MN.
On July 3, 2016 Lorraine’s heavenly wagon train arrived exactly forty years to the day after the historic Bicentennial Wagon Train arrived in Valley Forge, PA.
Lorraine’s family and friends will always remember her for her awesomely delicious homemade bread, her love of music and the card game “Tic” which she spent many enjoyable hours playing and was a get-together family tradition.
Lorraine was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Reuben and Caryl; two sisters, Lillian and June; her husband, Slim; one daughter-in-law, Glenda Wanless and one son-in-law, Rick Hintermeister.
Lorraine is survived by her three sons, Bruce (Jacki) Wanless, Davenport, FL; Dennis Wanless, Isanti, MN; Terry (Joanne) Wanless, Versailles, KY; her daughter, Bonnie Hintermeister, Fountain Hills, AZ; eight grandchildren, Dawn (Denny) Plohocky, Denise (Joe) Kubiatowicz, Stacy (Donovan) Shaw, DaNae (Jeff) Klimek, Heather (Chad) Collins, Chris (Heather) Hintermeister, Fletcher (Aasha) Wanless, Troy (Jessica) Wanless, twenty great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.