An interview with John Bodensteiner:
Tell me about yourself:
First, I feel very honored to receive this recognition. I am John Bodensteiner. I am a retired pharmacist but find myself busier now than when I was working. I enjoy the outdoors, especially gardening, cooking, visiting with my family and volunteering with organizations in Vermilion County.
Tell more about your family:
I live in the country between Danville and Bismarck with my wife Bonnie. She is a retired Bismarck Grade School teacher. She loves to paint in many different mediums, and sewing, and still teaches at the Art League. We have 3 grown children, Sherilyn, Michael, and Melissa and 10 grandchildren that we love to share our time with. I have 7 sisters and 1 brother in North Dakota. We are very close and love to Zoom every other week for up to 5 or 6 hours. Love all of my family.
Have you always lived in Vermilion County?
I moved away from North Dakota in 1971, first to Anderson and Bloomington, Indiana; then in 1973 to Danville. Super X Drugs moved me here. When we moved here there were 9 pharmacists from North Dakota in Vermilion County.
Did you go to school here?
I went to school in Walhalla, ND and then went to college at North Dakota State University graduating with a pharmacy degree.
What made you stay here?
Once we moved here, we enjoyed the area and the people. Our children got involved with school and we in the community. My job as a pharmacist kept me very busy.
What jobs have you had?
When I lived in ND, I lived on a farm and kept very busy helping my dad and uncle farming. I also started to hoe sugar beets during the summers; it was hard work. One day I hoed 27 miles of beets. After I went to college, I started working at the local drug store. Once I graduated from college, Super X hired me. We then became Hooks, then Revco, then CVS. When we moved to Danville, I started at the store at Main and Griffin, then to the Village Mall, then to Hills Plaza and then Fairchild and Vermilion. I also worked for Carle Pharmacy on Fairchild. I also filled in at 20 other stores in Indiana and Illinois. Some weeks were 100 hours.
What Boards have you served on?
I have served on AMBUCS, Knights of Columbus, Bismarck Community Water District, Danville Library Foundation, Bismarck Lions Club, and Presence Hospital advisory board.
What volunteer opportunities do you participate in?
I heavily participate in the University of Illinois Master Gardeners program. I have done the master gardener radio show on WDAN since 1994 and Mid-American Gardener TV show on WILL since 1994. I also help with the many projects in Vermilion County. I volunteer teach in the greenhouse at Schlarman Academy. I have been a member of AMBUCS since 1975. I also volunteer at the Danville Art League, Bismarck Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Danville Public Library Foundation, and at St. Paul’s Church. I also was a Boy Scout leader. I have given over 10 gallons of blood to the Elks Blood Bank.
What do you love about the area you live in?
There is so much to do here. The outdoor opportunities, the many types of arts and the people. We have some of the most giving and kind people. Also, the weather is much better than North Dakota especially in the winter.
What do you do for fun?
I love to do things with my family and friends: go to ball games, school activities, doing art projects with Bonnie, cooking special meals. Bonnie and I love to travel. We have been in all 50 states, and 11 countries. I love to garden and to continue to learn about plants. IF YOU LOOK THE RIGHT WAY, THE WHOLE WORLD IS A GARDEN.
Vermilion County has been a wonderful place to raise a family, to work and now enjoy retirement. So much to do, so little time to do it.
An interview with John Bodensteiner: