Elaine Claire Peterson Bonneville


Elaine Claire Peterson Bonneville died peacefully on January 22 surrounded by her children at the Kaplan Family Hospice House, Danvers.

A proud Norwegian, she was born in her grandparent’s homestead farmhouse in the foothills of the Killdeer Mountains, Killdeer, ND on December 30, 1929.  The daughter of Charlotte Bergerud Peterson and Clarence Peterson, she was raised in Bismarck with her older brother Rodney (Pete) by their then single mother until she married their stepfather, Robert Chase.  She and Pete spent summers with aunts, uncles and many cousins in Killdeer, enjoying an active childhood in the great outdoors, making lifelong memories and deep family connections.  Her younger brother, Robert Barton Chase, was born when Elaine was in high school.  After high school, she became the cherished wife of WWII Army Veteran David Bonneville and lived on the campus of U of ND, Grand Forks until moving with their first two daughters Annette and Lisa, to Midland, MI where David took a position at the Dow Chemical Company.  They added son, Matthew, and daughter, Ellen, to their family and created a strong community in their new home as active members of Trinity Lutheran Church.  Elaine served on the building committee for a new church, was elected president of the Midland Garden Club, was a devoted and loving mother of four children, in whom she instilled her strong work ethic, love of God and family and care for others.  She was a committed and creative homemaker and dedicated volunteer to humanitarian causes with honed talents in sewing, flower gardening, singing, card playing, interior decoration and girl scouting.  In 1968, the family moved to the Chicago area where Elaine worked in accounting at a large automotive dealership.  Then, on to Minneapolis where she worked for the Douglas Corporation and David completed his career at Land o’ Lakes.  Throughout her life, Elaine was a casual collector of shopping bags and tiny boxes.  As a young child, her granddaughter Lisa once exclaimed, “Gramma, you have over 200 boxes but there is nothing in any of them!”.  She could not see the wonder and imagination her grandmother put inside.

Elaine committed her life to her family, ever nurturing her special needs son throughout his life, even on her own, following David’s unexpected death when she was just 54 years old.  At age 80, Elaine moved to an assisted living community in Minnetonka, MN where her children and grandchildren treated the residents to an exhibit of her shopping bag collection, over 420 in total, from her numerous travels.  When COVID forced isolation in 2020 and following the death of her son, she moved to live with daughter Lisa and son-in-law George in Manchester-by-the-Sea.  She celebrated her 93rd birthday with friends who wore many beautiful dress hats, saved from her stylish wardrobe.

Elaine died and went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while under gentle and dignified care at the Kaplan Family Hospice House with her children at her side; Annette Bonneville of IL, Lisa Bonneville (husband George Davis) of Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA and Ellen Bonneville of MN.  She is also survived by five grandchildren: Dr. Scott Carlson (Tammy), Amy Wilson (Mark), Ryan Jackson, Lisa Jackson (Keesha Smith) and Reece Bonneville, eight great-grandchildren, her sisters-in-law Kathy Chase, Deanna Bonneville, Virginia Bonneville all of MN, sister-in-law Carol Robbins of AZ, and brother-in-law John Bonneville of MN and many loving nieces and nephews.  In addition to her parents, husband David and son Matthew, Elaine was predeceased by her brothers Rodney Peterson and Robert Barton Chase, sister-in-law Delores Peterson and brothers-in-law Robert Robbins and Thomas Bonneville.

A private celebration of her life will be held at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN where her ashes will be interred with her husband and son.  Donations can be made in her memory to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 75 Sylvan St, Danvers, MA 01923 (giving@caredimensions.org), or to the Longevity Bench Project, Inc. for a public bench in her honor, PO Box 145, Manchester, MA 01944 (www.LongevityBenchProject.org).  Kindly include a note, in memory of Elaine Bonneville.

elaine, peterson, bonneville, rodney peterson, elaine claire peterson bonneville elaine claire peterson bonneville, robert barton chase, gregory a. peterson, keesha smith, ellen bonneville, giving@caredimensions.org, longevity bench project, inc., fort snelling national cemetery