Allot – A sparkling light that burned brightly – Bonnie Katherine Granius had been a central figure in her immediate and extended family, the schools and organizations in which she worked, as well as her neighborhood and large community of friends.
Bonnie, 78, died peacefully at St. Vincent’s Hospital on March 16, 2022 of pulmonary complications. Bonnie was born to Charles and Helena (Dennisen) Katers in Green Bay Wisconsin on October 24, 1943. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy High School in 1960 and St. Norbert College with a BA in Education (Spanish and History) in 1965 She married her soul mate Carlton (Cal) Granius on a sweltering day in June 1966 at St. Bernard Catholic Church. In 2016, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary surrounded by family and friends.
Bonnie and Cal spent the first two years of their married life near Washington, DC, where Cal proudly served in the US military and Bonnie worked as a teacher and librarian in Alexandria, Virginia. After returning to Green Bay, Bonnie began what has become both her calling and her passion: teaching Spanish. Señora Granius has taught at Premontre, Abbot Pennings, East, West and Preble High Schools as well as Franklin and Washington Middle Schools. After retiring from Green Bay Public Schools in 2002, she spent another 15 years teaching academic Spanish at St. Norbert and UWGB, Spanish to adult employees of area businesses and the English as a Second Language (ESL) for the Brown County Literacy Council. Bonnie was a lifelong learner and lifelong instructor who loved hearing from former students and was immensely proud of their accomplishments.
Bonnie’s passion for education was perhaps only surpassed by her love of volunteerism and charitable giving. She was an active volunteer and held numerous leadership positions with the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Sisterhood, Brown County Community Women’s Club, Service League, Boys Club Auxiliary, Resurrection Parish, and League of Women Voters. She could always be counted on to cook a kettle of her famous booyah for charity auctions. She has also contributed to causes farther from home; one of his latest acts of charity was donating a closet full of clothes and jackets to refugees fleeing violence in Ukraine.
With an innate curiosity for the world, Bonnie’s adventures have taken her to Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America and the United States. She instinctively connected with people wherever she went. Bonnie was also a famous card shark who played competitive and recreational bridge and never turned down a game of Go Fish or Old Maid with her grandchildren. Bonnie enjoyed skiing with her family and friends, golfing with friends at work and PEO, and playing tennis at the Western Racquet and Four Seasons tennis clubs where she was a member for 45 years. Bonnie also enjoyed dancing with Cal and socializing at Le Bay and Neighborly dance clubs.
Bonnie was extremely proud to be the mother of her three boys and three grandchildren. In a recent letter, she wrote: “Our goal was to teach you to appreciate family, nature and its beauty, and to instill a spirit of curiosity, adventure, appreciation and empathy for others. ” She was much loved by her children and grandchildren.
Bonnie is survived by her loving husband Cal; his children Mark (Laurie Travis) in Fairfax VA, Todd in Laguna Niguel CA and Jesse (Julie) in Denver CO; grandchildren Mira, Aden and Lena; siblings Jean Vanden Branden, James Katers and twin brother Bill Katers (Patricia); and his sister-in-law Loretta Granius. She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings Audrey Katers and Clifford Katers (Bernice); brother-in-law Myron (Mike) Granius; sister-in-law Donna Katers, brother-in-law Don Vanden Branden; and in-laws John and Anna Granius.
A service will be held at Resurrection Catholic Parish at a future date to be determined. Cotter Funeral Home helps the family.
Memorials and contributions may be donated in Bonnie’s name to Literacy Green Bay, Freedom House Ministries, Green Bay Botanical Garden Children’s Garden Expansion Project and Heritage Hill State Park.
Posted on March 19, 2022
Published in the Green Bay Press Gazette