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Bonnie Kay (Zehner) Diedrich
December 8, 1956 ~ November 9, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old
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Bonnie Kay Zehner was born to Mary (Klug) and Gordon Zehner on December 8, 1956 in Alexandria, Minnesota. She was the youngest of three children raised in Leaf Valley and attended church at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, where she was baptized and confirmed. As a child, Bonnie enjoyed spending time outside with her father Gordon and riding horses with her friends Debbie, Sandy, and Elaine.
Bonnie attended elementary school at district 459 country school. From there, she and her classmates were bussed to Alexandria until the time of her high school graduation in 1974. After graduation, Bonnie moved to Knoxville, TN and eventually enlisted in the United States Army, attending basic training in Alabama. She trained as a military police officer and was stationed in Germany. Bonnie's work also took her to southern California, Washington, and Idaho before settling back in Minnesota and reconnecting with Ron Diedrich. Bonnie, Ron, and his two children, Jeanne and Mike, became a family and together welcomed a baby girl, Amanda. The family lived in Richfield, MN while Bonnie worked at Ft. Snelling.
In 1998, Bonnie started her career in civil service working in Job Corps for the Department of Reclamation. In 2000, Bonnie married Ken Houston. And while their marriage would eventually end, the two would remain lifelong companions and she would continue to consider he and his two sons, Tommy and Coleman, family. Bonnie, Ken, and the kids shared a love of horses, and would at one time have a ranch where they hosted riding camps.
While Bonnie officially retired in 2009, she remained very busy. She would at one time run a post office and liked to volunteer at the food shelf. Bonnie also loved finding garage and estates sales and fishing with her cousin Davis, she even enjoyed cleaning the fish they caught together. She was also skilled at keeping a garden and raising her chickens and cattle, which she was sure her dad would be proud of.
Bonnie will forever be remembered for her generosity and love of entertaining, and also for her dedication to her country, serving in both the United States Army and United States Airforce and working for the Navy. Bonnie passed away on Thursday, November 9, 2023 in Idaho; she was 66 years old.
Bonnie is preceded in death by her parents, Gordon and Mary Zehner; niece, Annysa Zierhut; brother-in-law, Milton Ost; and first husband, Ron Diedrich. She is survived by her daughter, Amanda Mercado (Shad Easter), siblings: James Zehner (Judy McNutt-Zehner) and Kathryn Ost; grandchildren: Cameron and Adriane Mercado, Paige and Elanor Houston; former step-children: Tommy Houston (Rachel Stephens), Coleman (Courtnie) Houston, Jeanne Steidl, and Mike (Laura) Diedrich; nieces and nephews: Robert (Lisa) Ost, Dallas (Joni) Ost, Tamara (Brad) McDonald, Ashley Zehner, and Jonathon Zehner; and her companion of over thirty years, Ken Houston. She is also survived by many other beloved family members and friends.
Memorial Services for Bonnie K. Diedrich, 66, of Letha, Idaho will be held Monday, November 27, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Leaf Valley Township, Alexandria, MN, with visitation one hour prior to services. A public visitation will also be held Sunday, November 26, 2023 from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria, MN.
There will be a celebration of life in the near future for her friends and family here in Idaho. Date and time will be announced when determined.