Remembering Rosemary Ann Zelipsky Bonial

September 30, 1939 – June 10, 2023

A Mass of Christian Burial for Rosemary Ann Zelipsky Bonial will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Ball, La with Reverend Ricky Gremillion officiating. Interment will follow at Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home, Pineville, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and will resume on Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until shortly before time of service.

Rosemary was born on September 30, 1939 in Bellaire, Ohio to the proud parents of Anthony Zelipsky (Slovak Ancestry) and Elizabeth Dobos (Hungarian Ancestry) Zelipsky. She was their first of three girls, Antoinette and Elizabeth completed the family. The stories I have been told by those who knew her as a child, all pointed to Rosemary as a “take charge” person. She completed elementary school at Gravel Hill, despite the story that in the 3-4th grade where she tried to burn it down. Rosemary’s family was not wealthy by any standard, but she did everything she could to stand out as a student and help the family out by working as a stock girl/cashier at various stores in town. In June, 1957, Rosemary completed her secondary education. In the fall of that year, she enrolled at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Majoring in Education, Rosemary completed her course work and graduated in 3 ½ years. She and her friend found employment at Lincoln Road Elementary in Kenosha, Wisconsin. While there, she met several other young teachers, one of which, had just returned from Europe, where she had taught for USDESEA (United States Dependent Schools, European Area). She encouraged Rosemary to look into a job in Europe before she settled down to a more permanent position. In 1963 Rosemary quit her job in Kenosha, told her family she had a job in Europe (She did not), and in the summer of that year sailed from New York to Amsterdam She had a small savings, so did not seek employment immediately. She and a companion traveled as far as their money would take them. While traveling, she had to lug all her luggage herself. In August she was getting low on funds and decided it was time to get a job. She traveled to Karlsruhe, the headquarters for USDESEA. Once there she learned there were many openings in Europe, but encouraged to take a position in West Germany. When asked for her preferences, she stated she had been teaching Reading in Kenosha. The administrator told here that an opening existed at the Heilbronn American School. Having no preferences, she accepted the position, was granted an employment status of G8 (Officer for privileges) and put on a train for Heilbronn. Privates cared her luggage, and drove her to the train station. It was a direct ticket to Heilbronn and when the train arrived, the Principal of the school met her at the station and made arrangements for her transportation from the station to the Warton Barracks Kaserne. She was assigned a BOQ room, given advance pay, and a charge account at the Officers Club. Ro enjoyed her assignment and was honored as Teacher of the Year for USDESEA. The following summer (1964), she and two friends flew to Dublin, rented a car, and spent the summer sampling the beverages offered. In the summer of 1965, she and her friend first visited West Berlin, which meant she had to drive through the Russian zone of Germany. She has many tales of the adventure. Later than same summer, they flew to Budapest, also a communist controlled country, and she has more tales. When she returned to Heilbronn, a new army unit was assigned to the barracks. (That brings us to the most important event in her life, says her husband.) It was customary for the unit to hold a costume party for Halloween at the Club. Rosemary and five other teachers had the bright idea that they would go as a six pack of beer. Using construction paper and other supplies, they created six cans with shoulder straps and a carrier with six holes. The group assembled in the lobby of the club and entered in unison. It was a hit. Well someone said let’s dance, and I (2nd Lieutenant Bonial) lined up opposite Rosemary, and as they say ‘the rest is history’. They were married the following June 11, 1966. Ro and Ed (as they were called by family and friends) remained in Germany until October 1967 when Ed received orders for Vietnam. During their remaining time in Europe, they traveled often, visiting Rome, having an audience with the Pope, Florence (Ro loved the shoes), Zurich, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, where they spent their first anniversary.

Upon returning to the United States, Ro decided to stay in Alexandria, LA with Ed’s family while awaiting Ed’s return from Vietnam. While there, she taught reading at Alexandria Junior High and attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA, beginning her work on a Master’s Degree in Reading. When Ed did return he was assigned to the Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, OK. Post housing was unavailable, so they rented a home in the nearby city of Lawton. Rosemary taught First Grade at the Post Elementary School while living in Lawton. Thirteen months later Ed received his honorable discharge from the Army and the couple returned to Natchitoches where Ro continued her studies and earned her Masters and Educational Specialist(E.Ds.) degree. While in Natchitoches, their beloved daughter, Hilary was born on January 13, 1971. When the couple finished their work at NSU, they found employment in Belmont County, OH near Ro’s Hometown of Bellaire. Ro was employed as Elementary Supervisor for the Bellaire City Schools, a position she retained until the family, tiring of the harsh Ohio winters, moved to Baton Rouge, LA. Ro was then employed by the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools as an Elementary Teacher at Belfair Elementary School, where in her second year she was elected ‘Teacher of the Year’. After a drop in the Real Estate market, Ed was employed by REMAX, the family again moved to Alexandria in 1979. Ro was then employed by the Rapides Parish Schools as an Elementary Teacher, starting at Lincoln Road Elementary, then to Mary Goff Elementary and on to Tioga Elementary. In 1990, she joined the staff at the Central Office as an Elementary Supervisor, then appointed as Assistant Principal at Horseshoe Drive Elementary, and back to the Central Office. In 1998 she was appointed as Principal, Mabel Brasher Elementary, a position she held until retirement in 2003. When all the years were tallied, Rosemary had served 42 years in Education.

After retirement, Rosemary filled her time with an Alaskan Cruise and a return to Germany, where she and Ed spent their 40th Anniversary in Heilbronn, with visits to Hungary and Slovakia, birthplace of her grandparents. Ro and Ed spent many hours fishing, duck hunting and 2-3 day special event trips to Bed & Breakfast homes in South Louisiana and Mississippi. Her favorite place was the John Folze B&B in Donalsonville where he joined us at our table on more than one occasion. She enjoyed driving her John Deere mower (she was terrible at mowing) and on Saturdays, serving as Lecture at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Tioga (she was great at this).

In 2019, for health reasons the Ed and Ro moved to Little Elm, TX to be close to their Daughter and her family, who lived in nearby Frisco TX.

Rosemary, A Remarkable Woman, A Treasured Wife, and A Loved Mother left this earth quietly on June 10, 2023 and peacefully to join her beloved Savior. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Edwin Bonial, Daughter Hilary, Daughter-in-Law Jenny, Grandson Brayden, Sisters Antoinette and Elizabeth. She is preceded by her parents, Anthony Zelipsky and Elizabeth Dobos.

Thanks be to God.