Ardith “Gail” Bonnicksen died on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, of natural causes at Olmsted Medical Center Hospital in Rochester, Minn., where she had been a patient for three days.

Ardith Gail Rogers was born on April 12, 1938, in Rochester, to Arthur and Margaret "Ruth" (Steadman) Rogers. She grew up in rural Stewartville on the family farm and graduated from Stewartville High School in 1956.

She was married on June 2, 1956, in Rochester, to Kenneth C. Bonnicksen. The couple lived in Rochester before moving to Spring Valley. They were later divorced.

Gail then moved back to Rochester, where she was employed at IBM for many years until her retirement in 1993. In 1994, Gail moved to West Plains, Mo., where she lived for 21 years. There she was employed part time as a van driver for Ozark Independent Living. She returned to Stewartville in 2015 due to her health and to live near her family.

She was a past member of the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ and Union Grove Baptist Church in Dora, Mo. She was a lifelong horse-woman who belonged to various equine associations and saddle clubs. Gail helped establish riding trails when Forestville State Park first opened and participated in endurance races across the U.S. She moved to Missouri in retirement, where she enjoyed riding horses in the Ozarks. She loved to compete and be in front! She rode motorcycle and was a member of WOW (Women on Wheels). Gail enjoyed playing cards, dancing, bowling and time spent with friends and family.

Gail is survived by her daughters, Dawn (Larry) Plenge and Penny (Scott) Kirtz, all of Rochester; two grandchildren, Molly (Tim) Jungers and Bryan Kirtz; significant other, Stan Alcott, of Mantorville; and special friend, Laurie (Larry) Davidson, of Dora, Mo.

She was proceeded in death by her parents; her sister, Marjorie "Marge" Campion; and three brothers, Donald "Don" Rogers, Robert "Bob" Rogers and Richard "Dick" Rogers.

A time of visitation for friends and family will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9 at Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville and an hour prior to the service at the church on Friday morning. 

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, at the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ in Pleasant Grove, Minn., with the Rev. Lance Lorenz officiating. Burial and a committal service will follow at Union Cemetery in Pleasant Grove.

Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville and an hour prior to the service at the church on Friday morning. Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville. www.griffin-gray.com.