Gardening 08
Official Obituary of

Bonnie Ann Brobst

February 20, 1947 ~ April 2, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Bonnie Brobst Obituary

Bonnie Ann Brobst was born in Danville,PA on February 20,1947, the daughter of Charles Jacob Brobst and Eva Pearl (nee Mausteller) Brobst. She grew up in Bloomsburg,PA where she attended the public schools. In 1969, she graduated from Bloomsburg State College with a Bachelor of Science Degree on Secondary Education with a major in English. 

With her first husband, Larry Drumm, she moved to Washington,D.C. where he was serving as a pastoral intern at Augustana Lutheran Church. For one year, Bonnie worked for the National Education Association. Upon their return to Gettysburg,PA where her husband completed his theological training, Bonnie taught high school English in the Harrisburg Public School System. It was during that experience Bonnie realized that she wanted to teach urban, at-risk teenagers. 

Her husband accepted a call to a church in Baltimore,MD. In that city, Bonnie served as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer for one year developing tutorial programs for juvenile offenders.

Bonnie had found her calling and for the remainder of her life she was involved in teaching at-risk youth in her adopted city to read. She served as the reading tutor and eventually the education director at the Chesapeake Alternative School, a non-public secondary school which was accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education. It was said that she was championing literacy before it was the popular thing to do.

After a divorce and the earning of a Master's Degree in Special Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD, Bonnie left the Chesapeake Alternative School and for ten years was the coordinator of the Life Skills Program, a part of Sinai Hospital's out-patient brain injury rehabilitation program which was known as RETURN! Working as a cognitive rehabilitation therapist was a natural extension of the training Bonnie had received in the field of special education. During this period, Bonnie served as a GED tutor for inmates in the Baltimore City Jail, taught at the Community College of Baltimore, trained tutors for Baltimore Reads and founded the Zion Literacy House at Zion Lutheran Church on City Hall Plaza. For seven years this all-volunteer organization helped over 500 adults improve their reading skills.

She returned to the Chesapeake Alternative School as Education Director in 1998 where she mentored new teachers, developed curriculum, taught, and provided experiences for at-risk youth which broadened their horizons and encouraged them to reach higher. Bonnie was a beloved teacher whose students kept in touch with her over the years.

In 1995, Bonnie married the Rev. Dr. Eric W. Gritsch, a native of Vienna, and an internationally esteemed theologian and Luther scholar.

Following the death of her beloved husband in December 2012 and retirement from the Chesapeake Alternative School in 2014, Bonnie served as secretary for the Eric W. Gritsch Memorial Fund, a nonprofit organization devoted to continuing the legacy of the esteemed theologian through public lectures and various scholarly fellowships. Always a teacher, Bonnie established an English As A Second Language program for immigrants to the USA living in Baltimore who desired to improve their communication skills  For this free service, she trained many community volunteers as tutors who met weekly, and along with herself served not only as tutors but cultural brokers to many learners from various countries.

She volunteered countless hours as a docent at the Walters Art Museum where she delighted in leading tours for school children and adults, introducing them to the treasures of this cultural institution. Bonnie loved her adopted city and volunteered in many organizations including the City Life Museums, Center Stage, Chesapeake Shakespeare Theater, and the Friends of Patterson Park. She was a faithful member of Zion Church of the City of Baltimore where she was a council member, adult Sunday School and Bible Study teacher, guiding historic tours of the church, and serving as a member of the Forum for German Culture.

In her free time she loved to cook and to entertain friends and family in her row house on Eastern Ave. Bonnie was an avid reader and container gardener. She enjoyed swimming and walking through Patterson Park, her front yard. She enjoyed playing the piano and traveling in Europe and the United States. She loved spending time with her foster daughter, Pat, and her wife, Ashley, and their son, Tracy, and her brother, Bill, and her wide circle of friends.

Bonnie is survived by her foster daughter, Patricia Bouthner and her wife Ashley Bouthner, and her grandson, Tracy Allen Bouthner of Severn, MD and all the students whose lives she touched. Bonnie is the sister to William C. Brobst of Bloomsburg ,PA  

A Memorial Service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, located on Lexington Street in Baltimore, Maryland on June 8,2024 at 3 p.m..

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Memorial Service
June 8, 2024

3:00 PM
Zion Lutheran Church
400 E. Lexington Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
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