Obituary Details

William "Bill" Roger Bonsell

(06/14/1954 - 05/23/1976)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 05/27/1976


William "Bill" Bonsell, a 1972 graduate of Niobrara County High School, was killed Sunday in a uranium mine accident. Funeral service was being held this Wednesday afternoon at Peet Mortuary Chapel.

Bonsell, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Bonsell, Lusk, was employed at the Bill Smith Mine, owned by Mine Contractors, Inc., and located about 30 miles northeast of Douglas.

According to information given the Bonsell family, workers in the mine were attempting to remove a large rock from a side wall. The men had been prying on it in an attempt to loosen it, and at the time of the accident Bonsell was bent over in front of it fastening a hook. An air hammer was being used, and suddenly the rock came lose hitting Bonsell with such force that it crushed his chest and punctured his lungs. He died almost instantly.

William Bonsell was born June 14, 1954 at Lusk. He attended all 12 years of elementary and high school in the Lusk schools. While in high school he played basketball and was an active member of L Club and the Spanish Club. His senior year he was president of the Spanish Club and vice president of the National Honor Society.

He attended Casper College from the fall of 1972 until the spring of 1974. He was president of the Tri Dorm and actively involved in college organizations. While at college he met Linda Joyce Haun of Worland, and they were married May 4, 1974 in Worland.

The young couple made their home in Douglas, and Bonsell along with his cousin Tom Weber was employed at the Bill Smith Mine. Bonsells became members of the Zion Lutheran Church of Douglas. "He enjoyed the out-doors and participated in hunting, fishing and archery," according to his family.

The Rev. Paul Bundschuh, Douglas, was officiating at the funeral service this Wednesday afternoon at 2:00. Music was being provided by Diane Leimser, organist, and Susan Hahn, Kathy Doctor, Robert Doctor and Robert Lange.

Active bearers are Don Keene, Glen Lewis, Bob Fowlkes, Dale Urbigkit, Ken Anderson, and Larry Rodekohr. Honorary bearers are Bob Bonsell, John Bonsell, Tom Weber, Bob Hahn, and Kevin Paskett. Interment was to be in the Lusk Cemetery.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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