Kim was born November 25, 1964, at K.I. Sawyer AFB, MI, to Frank and Beverly Boner. The family lived in a two-story farmhouse. Kim has never been a “morning” person. At an early age, around three years of age, she would get up from her nap upstairs. After waking up, she would make it to the bottom stair of the staircase. She would not speak or be sociable for the longest time. While she was on that step, she was simply not ready for the rest of the world. If you came up to her in that state, she would say, “Kimmy cry, Kimmy cry.” Once she left the step, she was ready to be sociable.
In her teenage years, Kim and Lori also had rooms upstairs. Frank will have to tell the layout of the home to completely understand. Frank and Beverly thought having the girls in bedrooms upstairs was safe – they couldn’t sneak out right. Wrong. Frank said the two of them finally figured out the girls had devised a way to use the wood box to sneak out of the house. Frank said they did not get wise to this nearly quick enough.
To know Kim, you simply have to look at how she surrounded herself. Family was very important to her. She surrounded herself with all her family. Kim attended every family function: a small birthday party, a major wedding, a branding, a trail ride, a small hunting trip, a holiday get-together, trip to Arizona, or concert at Red Rocks. She was always present. For the last few years, she had a regular Sunday date with her dad – church, breakfast and shopping.
Being present meant that she was smiling, laughing, listening, and totally there with you in that moment. Kim watched everything and everyone to check in on them. One example, she brought up the rear of every ride taken on the four wheelers. First, she wanted to be able to see everything – the wildlife, the wildflowers, and the beautiful scenery. Second, she was checking on all the people on the ride. If anyone was having engine trouble, running out of gas, or physically wearing down, she was the one that stepped in with a helping hand.
Kim’s hands helped many. Every person she contacted at work knew they were in good hands. She originally went to college to become a nurse attending the School of Mines in Rapid City. She stopped attending about eighteen months in, never earning a degree. Her career was always in medicine except for a brief time she got her Commercial Driver’s License from Western Dakota Tech. She went to work with one of her dear friends at the Barry Unit in Sturgis. Called a candy striper back then; she would be called a certified nurse’s aide today. She cared for the folks there on the unit as if they were members of her family. Gradually, Kim became involved on the home health side and home medical equipment side. Her career spanned decades and didn’t end until she left us.
In looking at her hands as Ron held them this past Saturday, they spoke volumes. She hadn’t made it to the manicurist prior to the Wyoming trip. Some nails were painted and manicured beautifully with a deep colored polish. Others had her false nails completely missing. Her hands were strong and tan. They had marks, bumps and bruises. Those hands were hard working hands, not the hands of someone who sat back.
Kim’s hands sewed hats for calves' freezing ears. Those hands mixed up all types of foods in all types of colors, flavors and sizes. Those hands provided the sick with what was needed to make their life better. She fed Ron, family, friends, guests, entire fire departments and ambulance districts. She provided handmade gifts. Her hands were always full and never empty. When Kim visited, she came with small gifts and huge gestures of kindness.
With a sparkle in her eye and a grin on her face, Kim taught all of us something. Her gift of teaching was limitless. Whether it was a 4-H project sewn from scratch with a niece or a complex quilt pattern with a sister, she was always teaching. When Kim was younger, she learned how to dance with her parents. They traveled all over South Dakota and even into Minnesota dancing. Ron and Kim had dance lessons for their wedding as well. This past fall, Kim was teaching three very important ladies in her life how to dance. She has always been an avid reader. Her love of reading and researching gave her a wealth of knowledge about many subjects. Kim shared her love of reading by sharing any book she had. Only one rule – you had to return the book to her.
You would think Kim had the ears of an elephant. She listened and listened and listened some more. Her memory matched her ability to listen. Any trouble you experienced, Kim would give it importance and listen. Her quiet, yet positive, attitude towards your trouble made you feel valued and heard. Kim kept all troubles shared in confidence. She was also an example in holding one’s tongue. Never looked at her tongue, but have always suspected there had to be bite marks there as many times as we witnessed her bite her tongue.
Kim has never been wealthy in the material ways. She has great wealth in many other ways. Kim’s animals adore her. Her hands became gentle or firm depending on what her pets needed. The animals she has touched over the years are too numerous to count. When Ron and Kim moved to their current home, Kim expanded from horses, dogs and cats, to ducks, more horses and more cats. She encouraged others to expand their animal collections as well. Kim’s heart was on her sleeve where all animals were concerned. She has likely fed just as many animals as she has people. The numbers are large.
Kim’s hands have held shovels, pitch forks, scrub brushes, the steering on the mower, the gear shift of a semi-truck, reins of a horse, the handlebars of a four-wheeler, trimmers, watering hoses, fabric, gloves, a book, etc. Her back was covered with dress clothes, work clothes, ripped t-shirts, and all types of garments. What about that day on April 26, 1997 when her back sported a purple, fringe leather jacket? Kim clearly did not care what anyone else’s opinion of her was. She was a force to be reckoned with and had her own idea of who she was.
Kim’s goals were many and diverse. When faced with a decision her senior year in high school, she waited tables to pay her tuition to continue at Saint Martin’s. Her faith and spiritual strength surpassed most human’s abilities. She was baptized, married and now laid to rest in the Catholic faith. She worked as hard at praying as she did everything in her life. The only time Kim uttered a cross word was to defend another, especially where her love, Ron, was concerned. Her dad is still looking out the window expecting Kim, Bella and Abby to come up the road to his yard on the four-wheeler to check the horses. We all have those routines and expectations that Kim will re-appear.
Kim’s kind spirit provides a gracious example to this crazy world of how one should live. We are all grateful to have known you and that you blessed us with your many gifts, Kim. Thank you, bless you, and please stay close to us, Kim, as we struggle with losing you.
Kim, 55, Piedmont, died Saturday, July 25, 2020.
Kim is survived by her husband, Ron; her parents, Frank and Donna Boner and Beverly and Dave Gehman; sister, Lori Sorber; step-sisters, Deanna Dougherty and Theresa Thompson (Phil); step-brothers, Troy (Lorna) and Kevin (Kristin); brothers-in-law, Terry (Bridget) Koan and Scott (Misty) Koan; her aunts, Debbie Ludwig, Ginny Soesbe, Donna Shull, Theresa Benda and Sherry Kilker; uncle, Walt Boner; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Bob and Mary Lois Benda, Vi Smedstad, and Marian Boner.
A memorial has been established in Kim’s name at Pioneer Bank and Trust.
A memorial visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a Vigil beginning at 7:00 p.m. Friday, July 31, at Our Lady of the Black Hills Catholic Church in Piedmont.
A memorial mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 1, 2020, at Our Lady of the Black Hills with Father Andrzej Wyostek officiating.