MOUNT MORRIS – Elizabeth R. Bondi Sier, 91, of Mount Morris, formerly of Sterling, died Sunday, May 25, 2014, at Pinecrest Manor in Mount Morris.
She was born Dec. 17, 1922, in Sterling, the daughter of Tony and Teresa Bondi. She graduated from Community Catholic High School in 1941, where her communications skills were noted. She began working in her parents’ soda fountain after graduation, where she met her future husband. During a long engagement, caused by World War II, both Mom and Dad kept diaries of their experiences. Both have been submitted for inclusion in the Library of Congress as a testament to a life of sharing and involvement.
Mom was a people-person, who taught the true value of anything worthwhile was greatly increased by the amount of effort spent working toward the goal. She abhorred debt, and took part-time jobs, demonstrating sausages at local grocery stores, doing telephone surveys, and took in some interesting roomers to pay off the house mortgage as soon as possible. Most times it was hard to tell where the demonstrations and surveys were separated from just plain conversation and interaction with people, which she enjoyed. Mom was a woman of connections. She knew the bakery person at the grocery store, who would call when day-old bread was available, the egg lady, who would deliver as many eggs as we needed, as well as an update on what was going on in the extended neighborhood. She knew the person at the locker plant, who knew when bulk fruit would be available, and if they had room to flash freeze the sweet corn harvest, and the milk man who would deliver 3 gallons of milk, every other day. Mom always knew where the best deal was on peanut butter, a family staple, and did I mention a lot of food was needed as she raised five boys?
Mom was a longtime member of St. Mary Church in Sterling, serving in a variety of committees and volunteer activities. She survived embarrassment when her boys decided to head for the front of the church during Mass, crawling under the pews during a moment of distraction. All five boys graduated from St. Mary Grade School and Newman Central Catholic High School. Mom had insisted on participating in the construction of the new high school by donating toward the doorknobs in the building. Mom also believed in the value of exercise and felt the advantage of a walk home after an athletic practice would further enhance conditioning, rather than providing a ride home. She would put miles on her bicycle getting where she wanted to go. Another useful lesson; if you want to get where you were going bad enough, you would find a way.
A consummate volunteer, in addition to church activities, she was a regular election worker, a blood donor, a representative of Girls State for more than 50 years, a hospice volunteer, an English and reading teacher, and was in the American Legion Auxiliary, to name a few. She hosted international students at Thanksgiving time, provided popcorn cakes to many at Christmas, and would serve ice cream at local nursing homes. She was involved in a number of international charitable organizations and also worked for Dr. Ralph King, podiatrist, as his receptionist.
Mom loved to interact with people. She participated in square dance, line dance, and enjoyed bus and overseas travel. She made sure her boys appreciated music as she did, through periodic excursions to Chicago to see the latest musicals. Mom loved mechanical wind-up toys and to introduce them to her grandchildren. She is loved and will be greatly missed.
Mom was married to Robert Sier for 62 years until his death in 2007.
She always wanted a daughter, but gave up trying after the fifth son. Mom is survived by her five sons, Don of Peoria, David (Joan) of Appleton, Wisconsin, Bob (Pam) of Stoughton, Wisconsin, Bill (Mary) of Manhattan, Kansas, and John (Maureen) of Royal Oak, Michigan; as well as 16 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren. She finally received her girls with the addition of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom, both boys and girls, she greatly enjoyed.
She also was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Mary; and brother, Philip.
At her request, her body will be donated to the Anatomical Gift Association.
A gathering of family and friends will be at 9 a.m. June 28, and a memorial service at 10 a.m. June 28, at McDonald Funeral Home, 505 First Ave., Sterling. A luncheon will follow at St. Mary’s Parish Hall. A separate memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Pinecrest Manor in Mount Morris, in appreciation of the many years of care and community provided to both Mom and Dad.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established to Catholic Relief Services, crs.org/donate or 228 W. Lexington, Baltimore, MD 21201-3443; and Pinecrest Community, 414 S. Wesley Ave., Mount Morris, IL 61054.