Bonnie Lea Leyden 79, of Birmingham passed away on Wednesday March 1, 2023 at her home in Birmingham. A memorial service will be on Monday March 6, 2023 at 2:00PM at Cranston Family Funeral Home in Fairfield with Pastor Phil Campbell officiating. Visitation with family will be from 1:00 – 2:00 PM prior to the service on Monday at the funeral home. Private burial of cremains will be in Maple Hill Cemetery in Birmingham. Memorials to Bonnet School House may be left at the funeral home or mailed to the family at P.O. Box 191, Birmingham, IA 52535. Friends and family may leave online condolences and view the livestream of the service at www.cranstonfamlyfuneralhome.com.
Bonnie was born on July 13, 1943 in Rubio Iowa to Fred and Edith Pringle Schmitter. She only lived in Rubio for a short while before her family moved to Batavia where Bonnie spent her childhood. Bonnie loved playing basketball in school, she graduated from Batavia High School in 1961. Shortly after graduation she married Dwayne “Moose” Leyden, together they started a family and had two daughters, Lourinda and Jeannie. The couple was always working on a project in the garage, the projects had a wide diversity and included working on cars, semis and many home improvement projects. Dwayne and Bonnie later divorced. It is not too often that we get second chances in life, but Bonnie got engaged to Herb Conrad in 1998. They took care of each other and their families, they truly enjoyed each other until the end.
Bonnie had worked for several different places including Universal and the glove factory both in Fairfield and Craigs Home and Appliance in Keosauqua. She started working for the pipeline as a mechanic, to which she was one of the first women to do this job. Bonnie worked as a mechanic for 11 years before moving into the office from which she retired. She never actually retired in her mind, she kept busy with what she wanted to do, together her and herb spent their gardening, canning, mowing, fishing, hunting mushrooms and spending time with family. Her and Herb were always in competition for who caught the biggest fish and who found the most mushrooms, but they didn’t really care as long as they were spending time together. She and Herb always had time to help around their community of Birmingham and volunteered anytime they were asked. She was known to all that knew her as a wonderful cook and for her many crocheting projects including dresses for dolls, afghans and table clothes.
Left to cherish her memory are her fiancée, Herb Conrad, two daughter, Lori Warner and Jeannie Crafton of Birmingham, two step sons, Chris Conrad of Fairfield and Greg Conrad of Birmingham, a sister, Sherry Hunter of Iowa City, five grandsons, Cory Warner (Tiffany), Brandon Warner (Lizzie) and Kyle Crafton all of Birmingham, Miles Crafton (Kassie) of Eldridge, IA, Alex Conrad and Luke Conrad both of Fairfield, a granddaughter, Ellah Conrad of Keosauqua, seven great-grandchildren and many other family and friends.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Fred and Boyd Schmitter, a sister-in-law, Dixie Schmitter and Ex-husband, Dwayne “Moose” Leyden.