The Rev. Herb Bottger was born in Hollis, Kansas on August 5, 1928, the son of Paul Jensen and Hazel Lucille
Bottger. He was the oldest of four boys: Herb, Norman Ray, Robert Eugene, and Richard Dean Bottger.
His maternal grandparents, Mr. Louis and Emma Bottger lived at Clyde, Kansas. His maternal grandparents
were Mr. Herbert Graham and Carrie M. Moore, also of Clyde, Kansas. We lived on farms at Concordia, Hollis, and Belleville,
Kansas. My grade school and high school years were spent in Belleville, Kansas. Herb served in the Air Force for three years and then entered Phillips University, Enid, Oklahoma graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Ministry in 1953. My
first Pastorate was at Turon, Kansas from 1953 until 1955, during this time we built a new church building. They then moved to Bethany, Illinois to take a church nearer Indianapolis, Indiana, where he entered Seminary and graduated in June of 1960. He served as Minister of Bethany Christian Church and of Cooksville Union Church, Cooksville, Illinois during his years at Seminary. The Reverend Herb Bottger and Bonnie. congregation also built a new church during his ministry at the Union Church of Cooksville.
Graduating from the Christian Theological Seminary at Indianapolis, Indiana he was then called to be an Associate Minister of Memorial Christian Church of Rock Island, Illinois, which was at the time the largest Christian Church in the State of Illinois.
His first wife left him and the children and he was then forced to resign from the ministry. During the next seventeen years he worked in the mutual fund industry and the insurance industry, serving in sales and then as divisional sales manager and eventually sales manager of a small brokerage in Bettendorf, Iowa. There he met Bonnie K. Swanson and they were married in June of 1985 and moved to Farmington, Illinois to begin a new company to manufacture imitation fire logs. This never came to fruition. While at Farmington, he felt he call back to the ministry and applied with the Illinois-Wisconsin Regional Office for a position as minister here in Illinois. They were called to be the minister and wife of Oakwood Christian Church in June 1988 and they have spent almost seven of the happiest years of his life serving this congregation. Bonnie K. Swanson Bottger was bom December 4, 1949 at Mercy Hospital in Burlington, Iowa. Her parents are Dale Jay Swanson and Dorothy Marie
Keller Swanson. She graduated from Fort Madison High School, Forth Madison, Iowa. Her first job was at S.S. Kresges (K-mart) at the lunch counter ‘while in high school. Her first full time job was at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant where bombs were made for the Viet Nam War. Her family moved to Pennsylvania in 1969. Her father was transferred by GTE Sylvania. She
also went to work for GTE Sylvania while there. In 1973 she moved to Columbia, South Carolina and worked as a waitress, then in 1974 she moved back to Pennsylvania and returned to work at GTE Sylvania. Her parents moved back to Iowa in 1976 due to the ill health of her father. She stayed in Pennsylvania until she was laid off in 1983, then moved back to Iowa to care for her mother who was in ill health. In Iowa she went to work for State Farm Agent David M. Vavroch. During this time she met Herb Bottger and they were married on June 5, 1985. After the move to Farmington, Illinois, she continued to work for David M. Vavroch until the end of 1987 when she went to work for Ray Warner, State Farm Insurance, until they moved to
Oakwood in June of 1988 where Herb became pastor of the Oakwood Christian Church. She is now employed with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois as a claim examiner and she serves the church in all ways that she is able. They purchased a home at 307 South Scott Street in October of 1992. They are planning on retiring from the ministry here and remaining as citizens. They love the community and have many wonderful friends in all churches and organizations within the area.
They look forward to many happy years of service to the church and the community. Joe & Wilma Brandon

Share This