Georgette Wonders (1952-2014)

Georgette Wonders

The Reverend Georgette Irene Wonders, age 61, a resident of Kenosha passed away Friday April 11, 2014, surrounded by her loving family due to injuries sustained in a car accident.

Georgette was born July 23, 1952 in Big Springs TX to Samuel and Joyce (Sturtevant) Wonders. The family moved to Chicago Heights IL and Georgette graduated from Bloom High School in Chicago Heights as the Valedictorian of her class. She received her Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from San Jose State University and went on to receive her Masters degree in Divinity from Seattle University Jesuit Seminary in 2001.

In 1978 she was blessed with a son Andrew. Her greatest joy was the talented, kind, compassionate man that Andrew has become. She was especially proud of the way that he fosters his love of music with the children of Seattle.

On August 9, 2003, at Rochester Unitarian Universalist Church in Minnesota, Georgette was united in marriage with the love of her life the Reverend Hope Engeseth who works as a hospital chaplain.

Georgette had a rich and varied professional life before she was called to the ministry. In May of 2002, Georgette accepted the call for settled ministry at Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist in Kenosha and was ordained there by the church that following fall. Georgette was extremely committed to her beloved church family and had just recently announced her planned retirement and was helping them pave the way for continued ministry. Reverend Wonders was a very active force in the Kenosha Clergy Association, Congregations United to Serve Humanity and the NAACP. She took great joy in extending the message of love and social justice to all members of the Beloved Community.

In her spare time Georgette enjoyed a myriad of creative outlets. She was a passionate knitter, gardener, soap maker, baker, jewelry maker, poet reader and wordsmith. She loved music, especially the Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger music on which she was raised. In her early days in San Jose, she was an avid supporter of the burgeoning women’s music scene and once let a young Melissa Etheridge sleep on her couch when she sang a concert in the area. She had many plans for her retirement including travel and time spent with Hope and her family. She was busy making plans to become a toy maker in the next phase of her life.

           Georgette is survived by her beloved wife Hope Engeseth of Kenosha, her son Andrew Wonders of Seattle WA, her parents Sam and Joyce Wonders of Indiana, her sisters Heather Keefer of Quartzside AZ, Autumn (Simon Szeghy) Wonders of Park Forest IL, Naomi (Randy Groskinsky) Wonders of Billings MT, her father in law Lyle Bloom of Kenosha, her brother in law Leslie (Wendy) Bloom and her sister in law Faith Wamuthu. Georgette is also survived by her nieces and nephews; Joshua, Rachael, James (Brenda), MaryAnn (Ernesto), Samuel (Amy), Juan (Vallerie), Alexandria (Aaron), Chelsea (James), Sarah (Joaquin), Christin, Moira, Jada (Aixa), Adriana, Jenna and Jesse as well as her great nieces and nephews whom she loved like a grandparent; Tiffany, Samantha, Zakari, Ariel, Anna, Evelynn, Nora, Aniyah, Emilio and Saoirse. Further surviving Georgette are her dear friends Harriett (Kathleen Delaney) Wittert and her faithful canine companions Henry Who and Lilli Lee.

Georgette was preceded in death by her brother Jabez “Andrew” Wonders, her brothers in law Tim Keefer and Elvin Engeseth and her mother in law Ramona Bloom.

A Community Memorial Service for the Reverend Wonders will take place on Monday April 14, 2014 at 6:00PM at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church (2001-80th Street Kenosha) with the Reverend Tony Larson presiding. A time for fellowship and sharing of memories will take place at Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist (5810-8th avenue) immediately following the memorial service.

        In lieu of flowers, memorials to Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist, C.U.S.H. (Congregations United To Serve Humanity) or the Shalom Center would be appreciated.

Thoughts for Georgette Wonders (1952-2014);

  • Chaplain Josh McDonald says:

    Prayers and love to all those who are mourning the loss of this kind, clever, peaceful minister of love. Blessings, Josh

  • Catherine Neal says:

    Hope and other family,

    It was my priviledge to serve you under such sad circumstances. I will miss Georgette. I am sorry that I will not attend service this night but know my thoughts are with you.


    Rev. Catherine A. Neal, BCC

  • Toby Gershon Padgett says:

    My Darling Friend of 50 years is gone from this transitory life, so God must have needed you for something in Heaven. Separated only by miles we last saw one another 7 years ago – and I can still feel your hugs and your love. Always will. My deepest and most sincere sympathy to Hope, Andrew, and the rest of your family. We shall meet again – I am sure of it. God Bless You, Georgette. I Love You.

  • Rev. Julie Stoneberg says:

    I first met Georgette when I was the intern minister in Wausau, WI in 2004. She took an interest in my life and ministry, and showed me a sincere welcome to the collegial circle. She never failed to reach out to say hello and to check in whenever we saw one another at national events and ministers’ gatherings. She made me feel valued and noticed, and as I’ve read more about her life, I realize that this was a special skill she had.
    I was so sorry to hear of her death, and know this leaves a huge hole in the lives of all who knew and loved her. May you find peace in the knowledge that she lived a well-examined, and well-loved, life. She made a difference in mine.

  • Dennis G. Buhl says:

    I never met or knew Georgette. I heard of her passing from the “United Unitarian Universalist Congregation” in Waukesha, Wisconsin where I am a member. Everything that I have read and heard about Georgette makes me wish that I could have met her. My thoughts are with her and her loved ones.
    Peace Georgette.

  • She might’ve lived with her eyes open. Except for all the pain that she carried between her temples, in her chest, sown there long ago. Her courage spent on arrival, left her seed to harvest young souls in plain sight. Yet he is sought to account. Rest now, unafraid, my dearest old friend, for the spirit is as new skin holding you in safe repose, at long last.

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