For those of you who know me well, know that I have over 300 Longaberger baskets and that my home is accented with Longaberger pottery, wrought iron, bedding, border, pillows and more. I used to be a Longaberger consultant and have done many fundraisers for our local fire department and elementary school by doing basket bingos for them and donating my commission to their cause.
Dave Longaberger died a few years ago and things changed when Tami took the reins. Much of their merchandise is now outsourced and the baskets are the only remaining items that are Made in the USA. Because of the quality shift and the economy, I stopped selling Longaberger, but my admiration of the "days with Dave" will always linger.
It is with sadness, but with celebration of her life, that I tell you that Grandma Bonnie has passed away. This is a letter that Tami wrote, which is posted on their website at www.longaberger.com.
It is with sadness that I share with you the passing of our beloved Grandma Bonnie. Bonnie Jean Gist Longaberger was 100 years old. She was a remarkable woman whose zest for life, resiliency in the face of adversity and enduring love of the simple pleasures had a tremendous influence on all of us who are part of the Longaberger family and The Longaberger Company.
Until recent years, Grandma Bonnie remained very active in the community and within our company. Many of you might recall her attending past Bees. For many years, she enjoyed her daily lunches at the Senior Center in Dresden, talking with neighbors and, of course, spending time with the family. She made us all laugh with her stories and memories, and she made raising a family of 12 look easy and downright fun. She was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother to all of us, and a good Christian woman. She will be dearly missed, but her legacy lives on.
I think what is most memorable about Grandma Bonnie is her approach to life. She had a commonsense attitude and enjoyed simple living. She never complained. She always believed in forging ahead, and she did it with a wit and sense of humor that made us chuckle out loud. She was one of the strongest – and funniest – women I ever have known. This comment, often echoed by Grandma Bonnie, sums it up quite nicely:
“A person should have a good sense of humor, and if that doesn’t work, they should rely on the Lord.”
Grandma Bonnie was born July 16, 1908. She and my grandfather, J.W., married in 1927 and raised their 12 children at their Dresden home next to the workshop where J.W. handcrafted baskets, later teaching many of his children to do the same.
Grandma Bonnie became very proud of my father, our company and all of you. It amazed her that Longaberger baskets could be made with such love and care, and be cherished by so many from so far away. To this day, she embodies our values and our spirit. She has had an immeasurable impact. The memories of her serve as an inspiration to us all.
Arrangements are pending at Vensil-Orr & Chute Funeral Home in Dresden. Burial will be privately observed by our family. Those who wish may make contributions in Grandma Bonnie’s memory by making checks payable to the Grandma Bonnie Fund, c/o The Longaberger Foundation, 1500 E. Main St., Newark, Ohio, 43055. This fund was established in 2002 to alleviate hunger for individuals and families in need, especially in Muskingum County, Ohio, Grandma Bonnie’s lifelong home. Condolences may be sent to email@example.com.
On behalf of the entire Longaberger family, we want to thank you so much for your caring and concern. Words cannot express how much it means to us.