Bernice “Bernie” Mae Burkholder, 97, passed away peacefully with family at her side on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020.
She was born in March of 1922 in Garner, Iowa to Ralph and Eulalia Quintus. She attended school in Garner and worked along side her mother selling ice cream at their family stand. She told the story that all the customers would ask what flavors they had, and after Bernice would recite all 17 flavors, they would order vanilla! Bernice attended University of Iowa in Iowa City, and graduated with a degree in Education. She obtained her masters degree in Theater Arts from University of Washington then taught and worked for the Girls Scouts of America. Around that time she met Ken Burkholder and they were married in Bend in 1951. The reception was at the famous Pine Tavern in Bend, but when the announcement ran in the local Garner newspaper, it was reported as the “Pine Café” to prevent small town scuttle butt.
She and Ken had two children, Harriet was born in Bend in 1953 and Tom was born in 1956 in Spokane, Wash. The family moved to Portland in 1957 and lived there until both children were out of high school. Bernice keep busy with church activities, led a Girl Scout troop and began a long career of recycling, volunteering and community service. After Ken retired, they moved to Lakeview where they enjoyed gardening, grandchildren and raising ducks.
Bernice loved nature, especially birds and kept a wonderful log of all the birds she saw at the ranch in Lakeview. She worked on numerous committees for the library and hospital funding and led the local food bank for years. Her faith was the cornerstone of her life and she lived “doing unto others…” and made friends even if they didn’t see eye-to-eye. She was passionate about politics, but the only sign in their front yard was the single word ,”VOTE” ! Gigi was loved by all and this was demonstrated by all the gang getting together via phone from all over the globe, Indonesia , Amsterdam, Hawaii and the mainland.
It is very comforting to know that she is in the loving arms of her Savior. Amen.
She was preceded in death by: her husband, Ken; her parents; and brother, Richard.
She is survived by: son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Kathy Burkholder of Monmouth; and daugther, Harriet Burkholder of Hawaii; grandchildren Eli Smith and Drue McCloy-Smith of Amsterdam, Robyn Smith, world traveler, Alan Smith of Hawaii; Eryn Burkholder of Bend, Kelli and Greg Stallings of Eugene and Kevin Burkholder of Eugene; great-grandchildren, Augi Smith, Aila and Josiah Stallings and Canaan Nash. That makes six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Remembrances can be made to any local food bank, library or community service agency of your choice or Willamette Valley Hospice in Salem (or get out and vote).