Thursday, October 03, 2013

Bonnie's guardian angel

Bonnie Johnson was 8 when she died in Des Moines on March 7, 1919, of diphtheria, a highly infectious disease that although largely eradicated by vaccination now often proved fatal to children then. Bonnie's older sister, Nellie, was desperately ill, too --- but survived.

The little girls' parents, Harry and Olive (McEndree) Johnson, had grown up in Chariton and married here, but his work for the railroad would take them to many locations as the years passed. Stricken by grief, they decided to bring Bonnie home to Chariton for burial beside her McEndree grandparents.

Then, they erected this wonderful little angel, sculpted from white marble, to guard her grave.

The Johnsons moved around a lot as the years passed, settling finally in Minneapolis, where he died  on May 13, 1963. Olive died there on July 10, 1980, and both are buried in Lakewood Cemetery.

Nellie married Roy Barker and had two children of her own. She died on Jan. 9, 1994, in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

In Chariton, Bonnie's guardian angel remains on the job.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

What a sweet monument! Those are beautiful photos of the little angel.