The Descendants of Verner Bohnstedt in Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona

by Thomas Allen Bohnstedt, California USA
     (the text of this page is my intellectual property. Please do not copy and repost without my written permission)



Verner and Mary Jane "Mollie" (Thomas) Bohnstedt with their first-born child, Virgil, circa 1910-1911, Webb City Missouri


The Bohnstedt Family in Washington

The first record we have for Verner Bohnstedt and his family is from Grandview Washington. That's where their son, Perry Alden, died when he was a year old or less. He was buried in Grandview Cemetery, but his marker has the name "Perry Bonstead".  Verner and Mollie certainly knew how to spell their own names and those of their children, so this misspelling is likely due to the shortage of funds that Verner and Mollie had.  They probably paid what little they had for a very basic burial, but did not have any money for a permanent marker. The cemetery managers put a temporary marker there, and didn't take any trouble to spell Perry's name correctly.

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1. Verner Bohnstedt (in the car) with wife Mollie, circa 1924, probably in Kellogg, Idaho. If this picture was taken in Idaho (and the date was therefore about 1924), the child in the picture is most likely Leroy Robert "Pete" Bohnstedt, born 1922
2. Sons of Vern and Mollie Bohnstedt, Kellogg Idaho, circa 1925. Top L-R: Lewis and Virgil Bohnstedt. Middle L-R: Walter and Melvin Bohnstedt. Bottom L-R: Leroy "Pete" and Perry Bohnstedt

We next see Verner Bohnstedt's family in Everett Washington in 1927, where their youngest child, David, died.  Our records indicate that he died in Silverlake, Washington, but this is a bit strange because he was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Everett, some distance away.

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1. Grave of Perry Alden Bohnstedt, Grandview Cemetery, Grandview Washington.  This was supposed to be a temporary marker and Perry's last name is misspelled
2. Everett, Washington, circa 1934.

Verner Bohnstedt died in 1928 at the age of 39 in Everett, Washington from the same toxic poisoning that had destroyed his brothers; Guy had died the year before in Kellogg Idaho, and Vade had died four years earlier in Webb City, Missouri. According to one of Verner's grandsons, Mollie made a point to stay in Washington after her husband's death instead of going back to Missouri, because she was determined that her sons would not go to work as miners and die at a young age like their father and their uncles.

1. Grave of David Bohnstedt in Evergreen Cemetery, Everett, Washington, with a temporary marker.
2-3. Grave of Verner Bohnstedt in Evergreen Cemetery, Everett, Washington.  Mollie did not have any money when Vern died, and could barely afford the burial.  This is a temporary marker.  Over the years it had been covered over with dirt and grass, and when some of Verner's grandchildren had it dug up in 2014 it was badly eroded.

Vern's wife, Mollie, was left with no means to support herself and her family, so Mollie's three oldest boys, Virgil, Louie and Walt had to quit school to find work to bring in some money and help their mother feed the younger children; Verna, Melvin and the youngest, "Pete". Virgil and Louie were in high school at the time. Virgil was about 17-18 years old and Louie was about 16-17 years old. Walt was only 14-15 years old and may have just been finishing middle school (junior high) or just starting high school.

1. Melvin Floyd Bohnstedt
2. Grave of Melvin Bohnstedt in Evergreen Cemetery, Everett, Washington. This is also a temporary marker.

Three years after Verner died Melvin passed away from unknown causes. Mollie later married John Bjork who helped her care for the younger children during their remaining childhood years. Six years before her death, Mollie married a third time to Delbert Harris.

Grave of Mollie (Bohnstedt) Harris in Evergreen Cemetery, Everett, Washington. After her husband, Vern, died, Mollie married a man named John Bjork.  John Bjork died, and Mollie married again, to Delbert Harris.

In 1930 - two years after Verner's death - Lewis Prater "Louie" Bohnstedt married Ruby Mildred Rounds in Everett. Louie and Ruby were just nineteen years old. According to Marian Doyle, her father, Walter Alfred Bohnstedt was also married that year to Mary Luellen when they (Walter and Mary) were seventeen years old.

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1. Virgil D. Bohnstedt, late 1920's - early 1930's
2. Wedding photo of Lewis Bohnstedt and Ruby Rounds, 1930. L-R Top; Virgil Bohnstedt (best man) and Lois Wolters (Maid of Honor). L-R Bottom; The Groom, Lewis Bohnstedt and Bride, Ruby Mildred (Rounds)

The next year Louie and Ruby had their first; Lewis Billy Bohnstedt. Louie's brother, Virgil, was also married that year; Virgil, twenty one years old, married Lois Wolters.

In 1932 Walt and Mary started their family with a son; Walter Eldon. One year later Virgil and Lois had their first; LaVerne. During the next few years the Bohnstedt family continued to grow in Everett, Washington. Walt and Mary had Marian in 1934. Two years later, in 1936 Louie and Ruby had another son, Marvin, Walt and Mary had another daughter, Darlene, and Virgil and Lois had their second child, Donna.

In 1938 Verna married Harry Pennington and one year later they had a daughter, Gladys, while the youngest of the Bohnstedt brothers, Leroy Robert "Pete" Bohnstedt enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1940 Virgil and Lois had twin daughters, twins: Joy and June, and Pete married June Geddis.

That same year Verna and her husband, Harry were scheduled to go to Liberia, West Africa to do missionary work for their church. But after just one day out to sea, the ship carrying Verna, Harry and their daughter, returned to port because of the sea war in the Atlantic.

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Wedding Photo,
Verna (Bohnstedt) Pennington and Harry Pennington, 1938

1941: Pete and June had their first child in Everett; Lawrence "Larry" Raymond Bohnstedt. On December 4 of that year Verna and Harry's little daughter, Gladys, died, just three days before the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. But on the 31st, another daughter, Janet, was born.

Three more children were born into the Bohnstedt clan in Everett during the war years: in 1942 Virgil and Lois had their fifth and last child, Donald Virgil Bohnstedt, while Pete and June had a daughter, Judith "Judy" Louise. The next year Pete and June had one more child, Ronald Lewis Bohnstedt.

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1. Puget Sound Naval Shipyards, 1940s
2. Puget Sound Naval Shipyards near Everett, Washington, as it looks today

When America was brought into the Second World War after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Virgil went to work in the naval shipyards near Seattle where work was abundant because of the need for ships for the war effort. Walt decided to try his hand at running his own business, and traded his house for a grocery store that had a living quarters attached to it.

Of eight children born to Verner and Mollie Bohnstedt, seven were sons. Three of these, Melvin, Perry and David, died at a young age. Even so, four of these sons, Virgil, "Louie", Walter and "Pete" reached adulthood, married and had children. Virgil's son, Don had four sons of his own, Louie's two sons, "Billy" and Marvin had, collectively, three sons, Walt's son, Walt Jr., had two sons of his own, and Pete's son, Ronald, had six sons. Altogether this amounts to fifteen great-grandsons of Verner Bohnstedt, born with the Bohnstedt name.

With this many males of this family line you might think that Everett, and the nearby areas in and around Seattle, Washington, should be thick with Bohnstedts. But this is not the case. So where did all the Bohnstedts in Everett go?


The Bohnstedts Leave Washington

The first of the Bohnstedts to leave Everett was Verna. She and her husband, Harry, left for Africa to their missionary work in 1944, the same year that Pete was discharged from the Marine Corps.

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1-2. Verna Lucile Bohnstedt. On the photo on the left Verna wrote "Lovingly Yours, Verna, '37".  This was the year before she was married to Harry Pennington.

In late November of 1944 as the war raged in Europe, the Portuguese ship carrying Harry and Verna and many other missionaries left the Port of Philadelphia, the very same port through which Verna's ancestors Carl and Dorothea Bohnstedt had entered America a century before. The ship traveled to Lisbon in Portugal, and stopped for a time. It was January of 1945 before they left Portugal. From there they went through the Mediterranean before going on to Port Sa'id on the Red Sea. They stopped for a few days in Cairo, Egypt, and then traveled up the Nile by boat. This excerpt was taken from Verna's account of the Nile trip written to her brother Leroy "Pete" Bohnstedt on February 22, 1945:

The boat we are concluding this part of the voyage with is quite a nice river steamer. Besides the boat people there are 4 barges with passengers aboard. The food is edible but could be better, especially now that it is quite warm & the appetites get a little more fussy. It is served nice tho' which helps a lot. The scenery is very interesting. Lots of little native villages along the way. Much tall grass, quite a no. of trees. Have seen quite a few crocodile and several big hippos swimming in the water. Harry says it would be fun to take a crack at them.

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Harry and Verna Pennington in Egypt, 1945. Verna is sitting atop the camel in the far left of the picture. Harry is next to her with their daughter, Janet, on Harry's lap.

After about a week on the boat the party transferred their transportation to a train which took them across the Sahara Desert. By August they had settled in their new home in the Belgian Congo and were getting used to African life. In their new home in the Congo an African girl named Fatuma looked after Janet much of the time. Apparently Janet became very close to Fatuma. Young children learn their language skills very quickly and easily, and Janet spent so much time playing with the African children that she was already learning to speak Bangala, the local dialect. She was becoming so fluent that according to Verna she was thinking in Bangala and then translating into English before speaking. They tried to get her to stop speaking Bangala because they were worried that she wouldn't know any English when they eventually returned to America.

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1. Verna Pennington's grave in the Belgian Congo jungle near the mission. The man in the photo is assumed to be the preacher-missionary in charge of the mission at the time.
2. Terrain typical of the Belgian Congo.

Verna had been having health problems even before she had married Harry in Everett Washington, but at the time she had no idea what it was. By April of 1946, Verna's health had taken a dramatic turn for the worse. In a letter to her mother she wrote that malaria had been affecting her liver and spleen making it impossible to eat. She also made mention of chronic anemia. She was taken to a hospital in a town called Oicha. The doctor advised Harry and Verna that it would be best for Verna's recovery if they return home to America. Harry did begin plans to take Verna home as soon as she was strong enough to travel.

Throughout the last phases of Verna's illness in Africa, the doctors had thought it was malaria. But in fact it was later found that tuberculosis had infected all of her internal organs, and that malaria had nothing to do with her illness. Verna died in Autumn of 1946 and was buried in a graveyard on a little hill above the mission at Oicha.


South, to Oregon

In 1944 Walt traded his house to a family that owned a grocery store in Everett. The store had a living quarters attached to it (or perhaps above it) so Walt moved his family in, hoping to make a success of the store. Within a couple of years it became clear to Walt why the previous owners had gotten rid of the store; business was not good at that location, so he sold it in 1946, and moved into Louie's house. (Louie had left Washington the year before).

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Walter Alfred Bohnstedt
2. Family of Walter Bohnstedt, circa 1935. L-R;
Marian Lucille, Walter Alfred (Father), Walter Eldon, Darlene Joy, and Mary (Luellen) Bohnstedt

Walt tried working in sales for a couple of years and in 1948 he moved the family south, to Springfield Oregon. Washington, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest of America is rich with evergreen forests, which has long generated a great deal of lumber and paper industry. Walt had met a man who worked for Weyerhauser, a major lumber company in Oregon, as personnel manager, and offered Walt a job. He went to work in Springfield as a millwright, and then in 1950 relocated to North Bend-Coos Bay, Oregon, on the coast, doing the same work.

1. Walter Alfred Bohnstedt
2. Family of Walter Bohnstedt, circa 1935. L-R;
Marian Lucille, Walter Alfred (Father), Walter Eldon, Darlene Joy, and Mary (Luellen) Bohnstedt

When Walt moved to North Bend, his son, Walter Eldon Bohnstedt was just finishing High School, so he (Walt Jr.) stayed in Springfield, preparing for college. After graduating from University of Oregon in 1954 with a bachelor's degree in business Walt Jr. served with the U.S. Navy C.B.'s, or Construction Battalions (also called "SeeBees").

After serving in the Navy Walt married Margaret Jane Patterson in Springfield Oregon and began their family. Their first child, Stanley, was born in 1957 in Springfield. Walt and Jane later moved to Seattle, Washington, where they had Marilynn in 1962 and Nancy in 1963. Walt and Jane returned to Oregon with their family, to the metropolitan city of Portland, where their youngest, Mark was born the next year. After working for 29 years for New York Life Insurance as office manager Walt developed his own business renting storage for motor homes and recreational vehicles.

1. Dr. Stanley Walter Bohnstedt
2. Dr. Richard Stanley Bohnstedt
3. Melissa Ann Bohnstedt
4. Ryan Walter Bohnstedt with his wife, Amber

After graduatiung university Walt and Jane's oldest son, Stanley, pursued a succesful career in dentistry in Portland Oregon area. He married Karen Nixon and they had three children; Richard Stanley, Melissa Anne, and Ryan Walter.  Melissa became a speech-language pathologist in Prescott Arizona, while Stanley's two sons Richard and Ryan, pursued careers in dentistry like thir father.

Nancy, a schoolteacher, moved to Arizona where she started her family with her husband, Russell Blake. Marilynn, a proprietor of a manicure shop, stayed in the Portland, Oregon, area with her husband Paul.

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1. Rocky Cliffs are typical of the coastal scenery near North Bend-Coos Bay, Oregon
2. Portland Oregon today, with Mt. Hood, a dormant volcano, in the background.

Walt and Jane's two sons also stayed in Portland. After finishing his education at the University of Oregon, Portland State University and the Oregon Health Sciences University, the oldest of Walt's children, Stanley Walter Bohnstedt, pursued a career as a Doctor of Dental Medicine in Portland. He married Karen Nixon in 1985 and at this writing they have three children; Richard "Rich" Stanley Bohnstedt, Melissa Anne Bohnstedt, and Ryan Walter Bohnstedt.

1. Mark Lewis Bohnstedt
2. Mark Bohnstedts' daughter, Chloe

Stan's younger brother, Mark, earned his Bachelor's degree in business and started a career in sales. He married Tracy Murphy in 1996 and in 2002 they started their family with their first child, Chloe.  Mark later remarried, and with his second wife, Jennifer, had another daughter, Ellie.

Walt's two sisters, Marian and Darlene, both married in North Bend and started their families there. From Marian's first marriage to Donn Lindstrom came a son, Donn Jr., and a daughter Gail, as well as five grandchildren. Darlene had four children; two girls named Mary and Jamie, and two sons named Michael and Jeffrey, and five grandchildren, two born to Michael, and three born to Jeffrey.


South, to San Francisco California

In 1945, the year after Verna left for Africa, Lewis "Louie" Prater Bohnstedt left Washington. According to Louie's son, Marvin, Louie 'decided he was ready for a change', and moved south, to San Francisco California. He went to work as a carpenter for a company that was building a Sears store at the time, and later building freeway bridges.

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Lewis Prater Bohnstedt
2. San Francisco, 1945

Louie must have learned something about concrete while working in construction because he went into business as a contractor, pouring concrete for patio slabs for new homes. Unfortunately Louie's contracting career was not to last: In 1952 he contracted cancer and died the following year in Corvallis, Oregon at the age of 42. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery near his father. Ruby later married Clarence Earl Butler, a cousin of Louie's through his aunt Marilla.

1. Grave marker of Lewis P. Bohnstedt, in Evergreen Cemetery, Everett, Washington
2. Grave marker of Ruby (Rounds-Bohnstedt) Butler, in Evergreen Cemetery, Everett, Washington

It was just before his father's death that Louie's oldest son, Lewis Billy "Bill" Bohnstedt, had joined the California National Guard, and had volunteered to go to fight in Korea. After serving in Korea Bill was sent to Germany. While there Bill got word that his dad died, and was transferred to the 'Presidio' in San Francisco so he could be near the family to help out his mother.

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1. Golden Gate Bridge as seen from the U.S. Army's 'Presidio' facility
2. San Francisco skyline at dusk

When Bill was discharged he took some classes at city college and then went to work for a small company called Ampex as an engineer. After a couple of years Bill and some other guys he worked with left Ampex to start their own electronics company called Datatec. They later sold their company to Hewlett-Packard.

1. Lewis Billy Bohnstedt, U.S. Army picture
2. Lewis Billy Bohnstedt and wife, Estelle, about 1966

Billy married Estelle Scatena in 1953 in San Francisco and they started their family there. Their first, Steven, was born in 1954 in San Francisco. The next two children were also born in San Francisco; Diane in 1957 and Susanne in 1958. In 1967 Billy died at the age of 36.  Like his father he died of cancer and was buried in Palo Alto California in the south San Francisco Bay area. Although Billy's daughters Diane and Sue did marry, neither had children.

1. Back L-R: Estella Bohnstedt, Steven Bohnstedt.  Back L-R: Diane Bohnstedt, Susanne Bohnstedt, circa 1972-1975
2. Grave of Lewis Billy Bohnstedt and his wife, Estelle, in Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California.  The artwork around the names depicts Yosemite Valley, with Vernal Falls on the left.

Steven relocated north, to Washington. He married Kari Graap in 1981 and they began their family in Wenatchee, Washington. They had four children, the first three born in Wenatchee; Nicholas "Nick" Lewis Bohnstedt (1982), Rose Emily Bohnstedt (1984), John Louis Bohnstedt (1986, and the third, Autumn Louise (1988), born in Seattle.

1. Steven P. "Steve" Bohnstedt, Mid-1970s
2. Steve Bohnstedt's children; his daughter, Autumn Louise, and sons Nicholas Lewis (back)
    and John Louis Bohnstedt.  This was at Lake Wenatchee, Washington, circa 1997-98

3. Autumn Louise (Blakesley), and brother John Louis Bohnstedt.

Louie's younger son, Marvin Allan Bohnstedt, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the California State University in Sacramento, his Master of Arts degree at California State University in San Francisco and his Doctorate degree from the University of Nevada in Reno. His professional story is told in Doctor Marvin Allan Bohnstedt.  Marvin married Ruby Daryl Goldsberry in 1955, and they started their family in Roseville California, about 100 miles to the northeast of San Francisco. Marvin and Daryl had three children; Mitchel Allan Bohnstedt (1959), Gregory Daryl Bohnstedt (1962), and Kristan Maryl (1963).

1. Nicholas Lewis "Nick" Bohnstedt, Steven's oldest son (leaning out of the helicopter),
    is a U.S. Forest Service firefighter specializing in aerial operations, rappelling into
    forested areas to cut fireline and clear landing zones.
2. Nick Bohnstedt and his wife, Leesa

After attending Brigham Young University Mitchel "Mitch" Bohnstedt was commissioned an officer in the United States Army. He rose to the rank of Major, and his postings and assignments included Assistant Military Attaché to the U.S. embassy in El Salvador, and assignments in Washington D.C. He and his wife, Lorie, had three children; Cristi, born 1985 at Ft. Benning Army base in Georgia, Kayli, born 1987 in Frankfurt, Germany, and Tyler Allan born in 1991 at Ft. Lewis Army base in Washington. After retiring from Army service Mitch went to work for ITT in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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Memorial prayer by Major Mitchel Bohnstedt in San Salvador on the occasion of the death of President Ronald Reagan, 2004

Marvin's second son, Gregory Daryl Bohnstedt, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University in Utah, and pursued a career as a communications analyst. He had two children from his first marriage; Michael Aaron (1988) and Nathan Richard (1990), both born in Provo Utah. With his second wife, Holly, he adopted four children; Maxwell Christopher, Benjamin Gregory, Ian Mitchel, and Elijah Brandon. Mitchel and Greg's little sister, Kristan, had two children in Provo Utah with her husband, David Tolman; Steven Jr., and Jessica.


South, to Los Angeles California

When the second world war ended the Navy began canceling contracts for warships, which meant there were far fewer jobs in the shipyards. To make matters worse, what few jobs that remained were given to returning veterans. Because of this Virgil found it more and more difficult to find work. Even though times were hard, Virgil and Lois gave food and shelter to those in desperate need; sometimes a returning veteran, sometimes a man out of a job.

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Virgil D. Bohnstedt
2. Virgil D. Bohnstedt and Lois Walter

Lois's uncle in Los Angeles told her that he could get Virgil a job if he could make it down to California. He and Lois loaded whatever belongings they could onto a trailer and loaded seven people into a car (himself, his wife and five children) and headed south in 1946. That same year Virgil's brother Walt moved south to Oregon to find work. His brother Louie had already left Washington the year before and had moved south to San Francisco California.

By the time Virgil and his family got to Salem, Oregon the tires on the car were too worn to go any farther and they had no money to buy new tires, so they stopped. They moved around for a few months, and in 1947 they had moved to a small town in Oregon called Foster. What had begun as a stop for vehicle maintenance in 1946 turned into a long-term stay. During the next few years Virgil found work in the logging and timber industry, which is plentiful in Oregon. Eventually he was hired at a lumber company as a millwright, like his brother Walt had done.

Family of Virgil Bohnstedt near Foster, Oregon, 1947. L-R: June, Donald, Lois (wife), Donna, Joy, Laverne.

It was during this time in Oregon that Virgil and Lois's two oldest children were married and began families of their own. LaVerne was married in Corvallis, Oregon, to John McVay, an accountant, and Donna was married the next year in Foster, Oregon, to Myron "Marty" Martin, an engineer. LaVerne and John began their family with their first two children, Marguerita and Kathleen, in Indio, California. They later moved west to Los Angeles, where they had three more children; Susan, and the twins, Jimmy and Johnny, then eastward to Upland where they had two more, David and Theresa, then finally to Santa Ana where they had their last two; Michael and Denise. Although Donna was married in Oregon, she and Marty had their first, Randy, in 1956 at the U.S. Army hospital near Neubrucke, Germany. They later adopted a daughter, Amy, while living in Simi Valley, California.

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Virgil and Lois Bohnstedt outside their home in Hollywood California, circa 1955-1957
2. Hollywood in the 1950's

In 1955 Virgil and Lois decided to continue their journey south that had started nearly a decade earlier, and with the three younger children they moved to the Los Angeles area where there were lots of automobile and aircraft companies and other manufacturing plants. Virgil D. Bohnstedt appeared in the 1956 Los Angeles telephone directory, one year after Gottfried Bohnstedt last appeared in the Los Angeles phone directory.

1. Don, Joy and June Bohnstedt, circa 1958, outside the Bohnstedt home in Hollywood. This was Don's first car, and he was about 16 years old.
Joy Bohnstedt, about 18 years old, Hollywood, 1958.

Virgil went to work in Culver City, in the Los Angeles area, but they lived in nearby Hollywood. In 1959 Virgil and Lois moved with their remaining children, Joy, June and Don, to Montclair, a suburb east of Los Angeles, where they bought a house.  Both June and Don were married in 1961 in Montclair. June was married to Merle Berg, a home builder, and their first child, Robert, was born in nearby Pomona. But Merle and June later moved for a time to Hollywood where two more sons, Gregory and Erik, were born. Eventually they moved to the mountain community near Big Bear Lake California where Merle established himself as a building contractor.

1. Bohnstedt family outing in the hills near Hollywood, circa 1956-57.  Virgil Bohnstedt (standing), with Don Bohnstedt in the driver's seat.  In the backseat; Virgil's wife, Lois, and daughter, Joy, holding her niece, Maggie McVay.
2. Don Bohnstedt Sr. and Don Bohnstedt Jr. in front of the Bohnstedt family home in Montclair California (with the red Dodge in the driveway). Photo is circa 1967.
3. Don Bohnstedt's daughter, Lori, passed away when she was about five years old, and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, near West Covina, California.

Donald Virgil Bohnstedt was also married in 1961, to Frankie Durham. Don and Frankie's two children, Lori and Donald Frank Bohnstedt, were born in Pomona; Lori in 1962, and Don Jr. in 1964. Don Sr. (Donald Virgil Bohnstedt) was remarried in 1973 in Upland to Victoria Scott. Don and Vickie had three sons; Justin Scott Bohnstedt, Tyson Scott Bohnstedt and Morgan Scott Bohnstedt, all born in Pomona. While living in southern California Don Sr. had owned and managed a service station, but later moved into the building industry, primarily in painting and coating.   Joy was married in 1962 to Cole Fraley, an aerospace electrical engineer. About 1964 Joy and Cole moved north to the Seattle area for about five years where Cole worked for Boeing Aircraft. About 1970-1971 they moved back down to southern California, to the high desert communities of Palmdale and Lancaster where Cole worked for the various aircraft companies in the area.

1-2. Graves of Virgil Bohnstedt and Delilah Lois Bohnstedt, Bellevue Cemetery, Ontario California

Beginning in the late 1980's and the 1990's Virgil's children all began leaving Southern California and migrating north, back to Oregon, to the area near Salem. Don Sr. moved north, to Turner, Oregon. There, with his three younger sons, he built a successful painting contracting business called "National Coating Company". LaVerne, Donna, and Joy moved north with their husbands, and some of their children followed. But some of their children stayed in Southern California; Donna's son Randy stayed, as did some of LaVerne's children.

1-3.  Some of Donald Virgil Bohnstedt's grandchildren. L-R:  Trinity Joy BohnstedtJessica Ann Bohnstedt, and Bradley Kenneth Bohnstedt

From Donald Virgil Bohnstedt's first marriage (to Frankie Durham) came Lori Jean and Donald Frank Bohnstedt.  From Don Sr.'s second marriage (to Victoria Scott) came three children; Justin Scott, Tyson Scott and Morgan Scott.  Like their father Justin and Morgan moved back north, to Oregon.  Tyson married and started his own family in Arizona.  From these three sons came eight grandchildren.  From Justin, one child named Joshua (Childress).  From Tyson Bohnstedt in Arizona; three children named Trinity Joy (2001), Trevor Reed (2012), and Travis Russell (2013), all carrying the Bohnstedt family name.  From Morgan Bohnstedt in Oregon four children; Jessica Ann (1997), Bradley Kenneth (2002), Mackenzie Ann (2005), Theodore "Teddy" Scott (2009).  As with Tyson's children, all four of Morgan's children carry the Bohnstedt name.

1.  Donald Frank  "Don Jr." and his son, Matthew Frank Bohnstedt.  Matt finished U.S. Army basic training in early 2017 and graduated Ranger school in June 2017 
2.  Matthew Frank Bohnstedt and his wife, Klarissa Bohnstedt

Unlike Justin, Tyson and Morgan who moved away from Southern California, Don Bohnstedt Sr.'s oldest son, Donald Frank Bohnstedt remained in Southern California.  In 1991, in Upland California he married Laura McRay, a dental hygienist.  He took up building, first as an occupation, then as a profession, earning his contractor's license and building his own company called "Bohnstedt Construction" in the desert community of Apple Valley, to the northeast of Los Angeles. The couple have three children; Matthew "Matt" Frank (1996), Aaron Lawrence (1998), and Sarah Ann (2005).  

1.  Aaron Lawrence Bohnstedt, Don and Laura's second child.
2.  Aaron Bohnstedt (left, black helmet) during his firefighter training

In September 2016 Don Jr.'s oldest son, Matthew Frank "Matt" Bohnstedt, entered service with the United States Army.  In June 2017 the Bohnstedt name was added to those in United States special forces when he graduated Ranger school, and was assigned to the U.S. Army's 75th regiment; "Rangers".  About the same time Matt married his sweetheart, Klarissa Janowski, in Columbus, Georgia.


Descendants of Leroy Robert "Pete" Bohnstedt

When Lewis P. "Louie" Bohnstedt left Washington and relocated to San Francisco in 1945, his younger brother, Pete, followed him there and worked with Louie for a while as a carpenter and in Louie's business pouring concrete. Pete was separated or divorced from his first wife, June at the time. Although his two sons, Larry and Ron went with him to San Francisco, his daughter Judy stayed in Washington, and lived with her aunt.

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1. June (Geddis) Bohnstedt and Leroy "Pete" Bohnstedt, U.S. Marine Corps, about 1940
2. Grave of Leroy "Pete" Bohnstedt

In 1949 Pete remarried to Jean C. Colla. Louie died in 1952 and Pete's work with Louie in cement contracting came to an end. For a few years Pete and Jean tried their luck at business management, running a dry cleaners and a motel. The year after Pete and Jean were married a daughter, Sandra, was born.

1. Grave of Jean (Colla) Bohnstedt, Leroy "Pete" Bohnstedt's second wife, in Skylawn Cemetery, San Mateo, California.
2. Grave of Leroy Robert "Pete" Bohnstedt's first wife June Edith (Geddis) Bohnstedt, in Evergreen Cemetery, Everett, Washington. June later remarried after her married to Pete Bohnstedt.

In 1954 Pete moved again, this time north, to Oregon, where he worked with his brother Walt building and remodeling houses. After a couple of years Pete moved again, back south, to a town called Pacifica, just south of the San Francisco bay area where he stayed for the remainder of his life.

1.  Lawrence R. "Larry" Bohnstedt
2-4.  Children of Lawrence "Larry" Bohnstedt, L-R: Peggy Sue Bohnstedt, Bruce Allen Bohnstedt with daughter Meaghan, and Roxalena "Roxie" Ayala

Pete's daughter Judy remained in Washington, in the area near Everett and Seattle Washington, where she married and began her family. Her four children, Robert, Sheril, Deborah and Timothy, were all born in Everett.

Judy's younger brother, Ronald Lewis "Ron" Bohnstedt was married about 1959 in San Francisco to his first wife, Jeri. His first two children were also born there; Lynda in 1960, and Steven in 1962. After Steven was born Ron and Jeri moved north, to the area just north of Seattle, near Everett. There Ron and Jeri's third child, Karl ("K.C."), was born in Everett.

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1. Iconic view of Seattle Washington, with the Space Needle in the foreground and Mt. Rainier in the background.  Rainier, a dormant volcano, is something common to the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
2. A young Ronald Lewis Bohnstedt in his motorcycling jacket.

In 1970 Ron married again, in Lynwood Washington, to Nadja Wood. In 1971 William Ronald Bohnstedt was born to Ron and Nadja in Edmonds, Washington. After William's birth Ron and Nadja moved south, to Oregon. While living in Oregon Ron and Nadja had five more children; Erika, born in 1974 in Salem, Cynthia, born in 1979 in Brookings, the twins Timothy Allen and Thomas Anthony born in 1981 Prineville, and Mark Andrew, born in 1984, also in Prineville.  Sadly, Thomas Anthony, Timothy's twin, died at birth.

It was after the birth of their last child, Mark, that Ron and Nadja moved the family far to the south and east, to the desert community of Lake Havasu, Arizona.

 Click to Enlarge
1. Grave marker of Thomas Anthony Bohnstedt, Timothy Allen Bohnstedt's twin, in Prineville Oregon
2. Lake Havasu, Arizona

Ron and Nadja raised their children in Arizona, and some of them went on to higher education there.  William "Bill" Bohnstedt attended the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and began his career in aviation with the Arizona Air National Guard. Tim graduated in 2005 from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor's degree in elementary education.  After graduating from Occidental College in California with his Bachelor's degree in history, Mark went on to earn his Master's degree in Library Science from the University of Arizona in 2011.  Bill, Tim, Mark and their parents later relocated to Georgia, in and around the city of Warner Robins.  For this story, see The Bohnstedts in Georgia.

1. Anyone doing an Internet search using Google or other search engines for images connected with the Bohnstedt name will find many listings with the heading: "HW Photo/Steve Bohnstedt". This refers to staff photographer Steven Bohnstedt of the Herald-Whig newspaper of Quincy Illinois.
2. Steven Bohnstedt's son, Cameron, is a very talented and successful graphic artist.  This is an example of his work
3. Steven Bohnstedt's younger brother, Karl C. "KC" Bohnstedt.

Ron's older children migrated to different parts of the country; Lynda to Missouri, and Steven to Illinois. Karl "KC" Bohnstedt did remain in Washington though. After marrying Elaine Pollack in Everett they had two children, Aerryn (1994) and Jeshua (1996).

The Bohnstedt name is carried on through fourteen great-great-grandsons of Verner Bohnstedt. Two are great-grandsons of Virgil Bohnstedt; Matthew Frank Bohnstedt and Aaron Lawrence Bohnstedt. Five are great-grandsons of Lewis Prater Bohnstedt; Nicholas Lewis Bohnstedt, John Louis Bohnstedt, Tyler Allan Bohnstedt, Michael Aaron Bohnstedt, and Nathan Richard Bohnstedt. Two are great-grandsons of Walter Alfred Bohnstedt; Richard Stanley Bohnstedt and Ryan Walter Bohnstedt. Five are great-grandsons of Leroy Robert "Pete" Bohnstedt; Cameron Dale Bohnstedt, Aerryn Bohnstedt, Jeshua Noah Bohnstedt, John Carlos Bohnstedt and Alexandr Fredrick Bohnstedt.

1.  Karl C. Bohnstedt's oldest son, Aerryn Bohnstedt.
2.  Aerryn served in the United States Navy, and like his distant cousin before him, Samuel Craig Bohnstedt, was deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz
3. Noah Bohnstedt, Karl Bohnstedt's second son, served in the Montana National Guard.

Ron's oldest son from his second marriage; William Ronald "Bill" Bohnstedt, relocated to Warner Robins, Georgia with his wife, Carla, when he transferred from the Arizona Air National Guard to the Georgia Air National Guard to attend the Air National Guard Academy.  Georgia apparently agreed with Bill and Carla and, except for training assignments in Pensacola and Florida, they remained in Georgia, where they started a family.

Whatever it was that attracted Bill and Carla also appealed to some of Bill's siblings; Mark and Tim both relocated to the Warner Robins, Georgia as well, enlarging the family group there.


Online Resources

See Also:
3-25 /
Doctor Marvin Bohnstedt
3-26 / The Bohnstedts in Georgia
3-38 /
Genealogy 3-3-10: America; Washington, Oregon, California and Georgia


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