Roy Bonsen

  Roy Walter Bonsen, loving dad, grandpa and great-grandpa, passed away Wednesday, July 11, 2018 surrounded by family. He is remembered as being mild-mannered, kind and hardworking and will be missed by everyone that knew him.

  Roy was born Sept. 5, 1926 in Castor, Alberta, Canada, to Pete and Margaret (Blume) Bonsen. He had two older sisters, Esther and Ethel.

  The Bonsen family moved to Lynden when Roy was 1 year old and they bought the dairy farm across the road from their cousins, the Shagren family. In the late 1950s Roy took over the farm from his dad and then in the 1990s Roy’s son Paul took over the farm. Three generations have worked the farm on East Badger Road.

  Roy attended Lynden schools and played both baseball and basketball for the Lynden Lions as well as playing for the North Washington Implement baseball team.

  Roy was a member of the Washington State Dairy Association, Darigold, Farm Bureau, Lynden United Methodist Church and the Nooksack Valley Riders.

  Roy met Mary Boyd at the Ferndale skating rink in 1946. They enjoyed skating and dancing at the grange halls and shared a mutual love for horses. They were married July 24, 1948 and had four children, Nancy, Ron, Bob and Paul.

  Roy was one of his kids’ and grandkids’ biggest supporters at their sporting events and at the fair showing their animals.

  Roy was a well-respected participant at the International Plowing Match. He plowed for many years and won his fair share of trophies. He then turned over the reins to his grandson Andy, but Grandpa Roy was always on hand to offer advice when asked.

  A favorite family tradition was Saturday morning breakfast at the Fairway Café and it was a tradition that was carried on for many years.

  Roy is survived by daughter Nancy (Gary) VanWerven; sons Ron (Lori) Bonsen, Bob (Gail) Bonsen and Paul (Karla) Bonsen; grandchildren Tim (Renae) Hanson, Andy (Tara) Hanson, Brooke (Steven) Heystek, Jenna Bonsen, Olivia Bonsen, Kyla Bonsen, Sarah (Kory) Scott and Katie Presley; and great-grandchildren Lauren, Tyson, Wyatt, Chase and Nash Hanson and Graham and Morgan Scott.

  He was preceded in death by his wife Mary, and sisters Esther Prince and Ethel McKay.

  Please join family and friends for a graveside committal at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 19, in Lynden Cemetery followed by a noon memorial service in the Lynden United Methodist Church with Pastor Ron VanderWerff officiating.

  Memorials may be sent to Whatcom Hospice Foundation, 3001 Squalicum Pkwy., Suite 11, Bellingham, WA 98225. You are invited to share your condolences and memories on the online guestbook at

  Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.