Bonnie M. Schmalle, 81, of Fayette, died Saturday, May 18, 2019, in Iowa City. Memorial services will be at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Gay & Ciha Funeral Home, 2720 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City.
Bonnie Maxine Aamodt, daughter of H. Oscar and Margaret Cunningham Aamodt, was born Aug. 17, 1937, in Joice, Iowa. She received her education in Joice, graduating from Joice High School in 1955. She earned an associate degree from Waldorf College in May 1957 and later earned a bachelor of arts from Morningside College and a master's degree in education from the University of Iowa.
Bonnie was united in marriage to Verdell Schmalle of Thornton on June 2, 1957, in Joice. Verdell and Bonnie spent their careers as educators. Bonnie taught fourth grade in Sioux City in 1957-1958 and worked as a substitute while in Dayton (1959-60), Martelle (1961), and Ventura (1962-68) before moving to Fayette in 1968. There, Bonnie became the high school special-education instructor for North Fayette in West Union and the special-education coordinator for the Fayette and Valley school districts.
As a special education teacher, Bonnie instilled in her students the confidence that they could succeed. Through her encouragement, patient instruction and training programs, her students thrived and demonstrated abilities that previously had been undeveloped. Bonnie collaborated extensively with local employers to provide her students the opportunities to achieve their goals of graduation, employment and independence.
Bonnie shared her passion for special education as an instructor in the college of education at the University of Iowa. In so doing, her program at North Fayette became a model for many special- education programs across the state.
In retirement, Bonnie traveled extensively and spent many years in Florida. Bonnie returned to Iowa in 2016 to spend her final years close to her family.
Bonnie is survived by her three children, Verlynn (Anne) Schmalle of Minneapolis, Minn., Margaret Schmalle (Pat McArtor) of Iowa City and Marlys Franzen of Hawkeye; her seven grandchildren, Angela (Jesse) Craycraft, Greta (Dan) Backman, Andie (Curtis) Davis, Kayla Schmalle, Kimberly Kallis and Max and Gabriel Caballero; her one great-grandchild, August Backman; her sister, Myrna Langerud of Des Moines; a sister-in-law, Beulah Schmalle of Belmond; and several nieces and nephews.
Instead of flowers, memorials may be made in her name to the Dollars for Scholars program at North Fayette Valley Schools in West Union. To share a thought, memory or condolence, please visit the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.