From today's Columbus Dispatch:
The matriarch of the Longaberger basket family, Bonnie Jean Gist Longaberger, died yesterday at the age of 100.
Known as "Grandma Bonnie" in her hometown of Dresden in Muskingum County, she was the mother of the business' late founder, Dave Longaberger. She and her late husband, J.W., raised 12 children in Dresden and operated a small basket-weaving company.
That's where Dave Longaberger learned to make baskets. It's also where, in the 1970s, he started his multimillion-dollar company.
In a letter on the company Web site, Tami Longaberger, chief executive officer and president, described her grandmother as resilient, strong and funny.
"She had a common-sense attitude and enjoyed simple living," Longaberger wrote. "She never complained. She always believed in forging ahead and she did it with a wit and sense of humor that made us chuckle out loud."
Bonnie Longaberger lived in a Dresden home and watched the town grow along with her son's business. Thousands of visitors have come to see where the Longaberger baskets were made.