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Bonita Louise (Bonnie) Hammond Klingler


Bonnie Hammond Klingler moved to Zionsville from Indianapolis in 1954 and graduated from Eagle Township High School, now Zionsville Community High School in 1959. She is the daughter of Gwen Markland, now deceased. Her father, John Hammond, is also deceased. The 1959 Aerie yearbook exhibited the adult leadership being Oliver Warner, Principal; Walter Harmon, as Assistant Principal and Eagle Township Trustee Carleton Phillippi. They helped to create " ... memories of many moments of happiness and seeming despair along with many lasting friendships".

She was married to Bob Atkinson, Jr. and they had a son, Michael. She later married Joe Klingler. Joe and Bob as well as her son are deceased.

Bonnie worked for several insurance agencies after graduation and began employment at Indianapolis Life Insurance in 1973. She wore many hats ranging from supervisor, manager and master professional in the client services department. She retired from Indianapolis Life after 28 years, where she earned several degrees including her Fellow of Life Management Institute certification and also served as secretary and treasurer of two insurance associations. Following retirement she began volunteer work through Boone County Senior Services as a Friendly Visitor, visiting seniors who were shut-ins. She currently visits with seniors each monthly. Bonnie is a member of the Zionsville Christian Church and has served as Deacon, a member of the choir and visits members each month who are unable to attend church.

On holidays, she delivers candy or baked items to 25-30 veterans in local facilities and visits several twice monthly. Gifts are also taken to veterans at the Veterans Home in West Lafayette by her and another individual. She also coordinates a Veterans Day lunch which is taken to veterans at Zionsville Meadows, with the help of the Francis Neidlinger Post #79 of the Zionsville American Legion and several Auxiliary members. She has been a Legion Auxiliary member for over 40 years and has served as president and secretary. She is a member of the Smryna Shrine Guild and has volunteered for that organization along with Habitat for Humanity and United Way Day of Caring.

In 2011, she was awarded a grant from the Community Foundation of Boone County to initiate a program with the help of Freedom Church in Lebanon, "Operation Freedom Cares" sending personal packages twice a year to Boone County soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bonnie, prior to the grant, had volunteered in a similar project in Brownsburg.

She has received the following awards: Margot Corson (founder of Boone County Senior Services) for "Distinguished Senior of the Year", Central Indiana Senior Volunteer of the Year presented by CICOA (Central Indiana Council on Aging) and the 6th District American Legion Auxiliary Indiana Volunteer of the Year.

She enjoys spending time with friends, traveling and playing EUCHRE!

Nominated by: Sam Fix - Class of 1956 and Maurice Kessler - Class of 1958