Bonita (Sigl) Roub, 81, of Fort Atkinson, passed into the clearing at the end of the earthly path on December 29th, joining the love of her life Gail, after a 25-year absence. In addition to her husband, Gail, Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents Leo and Blanche Sigl, brothers Harvey and Kenneth Sigl, and sister Patricia Sigl. She is survived by all her children: Cynthia (David) Gonda, of Smithfield, VA; Katherine (Kyle) Altmann of Burlington, NC; Joel (Michelle) Roub of Ada, Michigan; John (Lisa) Roub of Neenah, WI; Peter (Tracy) Roub of Cambridge, WI; and Maisie (Miles) Allie of Fort Atkinson, WI. She is also survived by 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Bonnie was born and raised in Green Bay, WI, where she lived on Cherry Street, just a few blocks from Old City Stadium, and earned money as a youngster parking cars for fans attending Packer games. She was the youngest child of her siblings, with Patricia the next youngest but seven years older than Bonnie. With the distinct age difference, Bonnie learned at a young age to cherish solitary activities such as reading, writing, drawing and painting. Her passion for reading led her to UW Madison, where she studied language, eventually landing her a job as the Latin teacher at Fort Atkinson High School in 1966. She soon became enamored with a popular history teacher at Fort High, and joined him as he led a high school trip to Europe during the summer of 1968. Bonnie fell in love with Mr. Roub during early morning walks in Venice. She never grew tired of talking about the summer of 1968. She became Mrs. Roub on December 23rd, 1968, at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Fort and joined Gail in the river house he built on Black Hawk Island.
Bonnie’s life was guided by her love for children. She recently said: “God is love and children are the most important gift from God . . . they need our time and imagination.” The gifts of children came in quick succession for Bonnie and Gail, with the three oldest born by early 1971. The flooding on Black Hawk Island prompted protective instincts and the move to a large house on Adams Street in Fort Atkinson, where the family continued to grow. She worked tirelessly to keep up with demands of managing a large family while continuing to relish the love she and Gail shared for art, literature, theater, church, and children.
Bonnie and Gail played a significant role in exposing the life of poet Lorine Niedecker, who they both knew well during their time on Black Hawk Island. They often hosted scholars studying Niedecker, providing documents and personal insights to better understand the “poet of place”, and they worked to establish a historical marker for Niedecker on Black Hawk Island.
Bonnie’s children and grandchildren rejoice in her reunion with Gail but will sorely miss the gift of her company in our everyday lives. She had the most infectious laugh . . . especially when laughing at her own silliness, like ordering the “full nine yards” of sand to support a backyard sandbox. She would drop everything to spend time with her kids and grandkids. She was always full of joy. It hardly mattered what we were doing: coloring with her grandkids, reading scripture or letters from Gail, watching The Crown on NETFLIX, having an old fashion while playing a game of euchre, or dancing at her granddaughter’s wedding. In everything, she exuded joy and we will always cherish her.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fort Atkinson. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. at the church until time of service.
Dunlap Memorial Home in Fort Atkinson is assisting the family.
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