This week, heaven became a bit brighter when they welcomed Bernice, who is remembered as joyful, loving mother, grandmother, and friend. Her eyes sparkled with her contagious laughter, and she was fiercely protective of her family.
Born in Wallace, Idaho, Bernice moved to Tekoa at the young age of 3. She was the second youngest of 10 children. Her father, Frank, was a railroad brakeman and her mother, Undine, was a homemaker and played the piano.
Bernice graduated from Tekoa High School in 1940, and later married a farmer named Othel on November 8, 1943. Together they had 3 children, John, Gayle, and Glenna.
Bernice was a homemaker and always loved to sing. She participated in talent shows, including the Slippery Gulch show and Earls Girls, which is hosted annually in Tekoa. She loved big band music from the 40s and 50s, and her favorite singer was Bing Crosby. Bernice’s other hobbies included golf, bowling, and playing slot machines in Reno and Las Vegas. She and Othel loved dancing their Saturday nights away at the Spokane Club or the Elks Club, and twirling across the dance floors in Las Vegas.
Holidays were always a favorite time of Bernice’s, especially when it came to big family gatherings and home cooked meals. Her children and grandchildren often think back to sitting on her kitchen counter and learning to cook by watching (and tasting!) favorite family dishes.
Bernice is survived by her two daughters, Gayle Stockton of Spokane Valley, WA and Glenna (Greg) Helm of La Quinta, CA; a daughter-in-law, Sherry (Jim) Klaus of Tensed, ID; her four grandchildren, Ryan (Rani) Stockton, Rachelle (Nick) Radonski, Chelsea Carter, and Jared Carter; and her four great-grandchildren, Landon, Carter, Walker, and Camilla.
She was preceded in death by her husband Othel in 2013, her son John in 2000; her nine siblings; and a son-in-law, David Stockton.
Her Celebration of Life will be held at a future date following the holidays at the Tekoa Community Church.
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