Bernice Larson
Bernice Larson

Obituary of Bernice Larson

YANKEE DOODLE LADY BERNICE LENORE (PARKER) LARSON was born on the 4th of July, 1913 on her Grandmother's birthday in Portland, Oregon. She was the only daughter of Raymond F. Parker and Mary Delpha Smith (the youngest of the 4 Smith girls—Bertha, Alice and Mae.) Bernice Parker would have loved to finish high school but after her sophomore year she went to work in her Father's long established jewelry store—Ray F. Parker, Mfg. Jewelers on 3rd and Alder in Portland, Oregon. It didn't seem too important in 1929 to finish high school—it was more important to have a job. She married and had one daughter (Jan Bergesen ('Bergy). As Rosie the Riveter in WWII, she always worked to put food on the table—life and riches were difficult during the war years and after. She ultimately divorced and married a cute sailor by the name of George Kreger. They lived in the Yakima Valley after the war and moved to Olympia in 1952. Still always working, the food processing line at a Libby Cannery in Grandview, Washington was her next job. Times were hard but she never complained. George preceded her in death in 1967. Russ Larson and Bernice were married in 1968 and lived in Olympia, Washington where she worked for the Department of Health in Vital Statistics. All of her grandchildren's birth certificates were signed by their Grandmother. The Larson's enjoyed their retirement years digging clams at the ocean, trailer traveling and wintering in Mesa, Arizona. Her little Chihuahuas Muffin, Tiki and Suzy followed her everywhere! After Russ's death in 1998, she moved to Boise to be close to her family. Christmas was her favorite time of the year and all of the crafts that go along with it—ceramics, beading, knitting and crocheting—you name it and she made it. In 1998, Bee won a blue ribbon at the Idaho State Fair for the king-sized (little tiny stitches of love) bedspread crocheted for her daughter and husband. Her grandchildren were her blessings and when asked what her favorite memories were her reply was "when my 4 grandchildren were small." Bee was a devout Christian and loved the New Hope Church of the Nazarene. Like the Pied Piper, she picked up more than one lifelong friend by merely wandering down the food aisle at Albertson's. Her Bantam Street neighbors became affectionately known as the "Bantam Chicks"—they lunched together, shopped together and came to each other's aid when needed. Her 10 great grandchildren adored her. The oldest christened her "Great Bummie" because she couldn't say "Great Grandma". On her 90th birthday party in Portland, Oregon, her family staged their version of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire". After answering all the questions correctly (with a little help from the audience), she won a trip to the Panama Canal—a dream she always envisioned. Because of her 4th of July birthday, she was honored as the 1913 selection from the State of Idaho to participate in the Photo of the Century. An all expense paid trip to Philadelphia was the prize and you would have thought she DID win a million dollars. The photo with a representative from every year in the 20th Century hangs on her wall today. A member of the Greatest Generation—the 1900's—written by Tom Brokaw—strong in Spirit—ready for anything—was her persona. She was a collector of recipes and a wonderful cook. She raised many "Victory" gardens and faithfully canned the vegetables she grew every year. Her green beans with savory tidbits of ham and onions were special and her peanut brittle at Christmas was the best! In the end, her world was small—just a cozy corner as she called it, but she lit it up for the nurses, caregivers and visitors with her sweet disposition and jolly laugh. Many, many thanks to Overland Court, Life's Doors Hospice, Dr. Ted, Steve, and Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation for the tender loving care they gave to her in her final days. BERNICE LENORE (PARKER) LARSON— beloved Mother—Grandmother and Great Grandmother----99 Years Young! Preceding her in death were her parents and her brother Sanford Parker. She leaves behind a daughter Jan ('Bergy) Bergesen, Grandchildren: Jodi Bergesen Whittaker, Richard Bergesen, Jill (Danny B) Wood and Kristie (Mike) Thompson and 10 great grandchildren. Funeral services will be at Summers Funeral Home, 1205 W. Bannock Street, Boise on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM with lunch to follow. She will be laid to rest in Olympia, Washington on February 1, 2013. No graveside service is planned. Donations to the WCA, 720 W. Washington Street, Boise, Idaho 83702, and the Veterans Administration are suggested in lieu of flowers.
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