October 20, 1943 – June 20, 2012
Dennis Bonsall was born October 20, 1943 in Burwell, Nebraska to Henry and Luella Bonsall. He graduated from Burwell High School in 1961 where he was an outstanding athlete. He attended LeTourneau College in Longview, Texas and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
Dennis married DeeDii Chaffin in 1964. They lived in the Burwell area and ranched. They moved north of Burwell in 1968 and started Bonsall Feedlot in 1981. They were later divorced.
Dennis married Renaye Gross Renner in 1999. In 2000, Dennis added partners in the feedlot and changed the feedlot to Burwell Feeders.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Renaye, three children, Byron Bonsall of San Francisco, CA, Lora Bonsall of Lincoln, NE and Brady and Sherri Bonsall of Kearney, NE; three step children Ryan Renner of Ericson, NE, Riley and Angie Renner of Ericson, NE and Rallyn Renner of Elkhorn, NE and ten grandchildren. He had three brothers, Bob and Fran Bonsall of Texas, Gaines and Ellen Bonsall of Fremont, NE and Sandie and Muriel Bonsall of Kansas; two brother-in-laws, Randy and Linda Gross of Burwell and Ron Gross of Ericson and a sister-in-law Rhonda Maxson of Burwell.
Dennis’ love for rodeo started as a child and he excelled in the sport. Dennis joined the PRCA in 1972, winning the steer wrestling at the Burwell rodeo in 1985. He was very proud to be a part of rodeo and had a great love of the sport and his rodeo friends. He was a PRCA Gold Card member and served on the PRCA Executive Committee in 2011 and 2012. He was a top hand and was very well respected.
In the Burwell community, he served 20 years on school boards with 10 of those years as president; 10 years on the local zoning board; and 35 years on the board of Nebraska’s Big Rodeo, serving 6 of those years as President and helping Burwell maintain one of the top PRCA Rodeos in the nation; he was a strong supporter of 4-H, FFA and high school sports. He was a lifetime member of the Burwell United Methodist Church and took pride in his family, his work and his life. He was a man of integrity and worked hard for the things he believed in.