Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Requiescat In Pace

Yesterday morning my great grandma, Mrs. Bernice Mary Brunner Hills died at the age of 97. The last anyone saw her she was playing skip-bo (her favorite card game) with her friends after attending a dance that afternoon.


Bernice Hills was born of March 20, 1912. She was the third of seven children in her family and was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

At the age of 15 she began to work at Globe Knitting Works where she met a co-worker whom she fell in love with, Henry Brunner. They began dating and after a few months the two decided to elope. While on their way, their car got hit by a train. They then took her father’s car and continued on to Bristol, Indiana where they were married on June 19, 1930 when Bernice was 18 and Henry was 24.


(Bernice and Henry in front of their car demolished by train)


After their marriage, they settled in Comstock Park where they raised their children; Sally, Richard, Kurt, Walter, and Alma.

Bernices eventually got a job working at American Seating where she worked until she retired after 22 years.

Life unexpectedly changed for Bernice and her children in 1964 when Henry died of heart failure when he was just 60 years old.

Although she was deeply saddened, Bernice continued on with her life sustained by both her faith and the love of her family. A couple of years after Henry’s death Bernice became reacquainted with a friend she babysat for as a girl, Harold Hills. He was a widower with grown children and the two began dating, fell in love, and were married on May 14, 1966.

For many years later Bernice suffered from her own heart problems, as well as from macular degeneration which eventually led her to lose her ability to drive at the age of 93.

Grandma loved to knit. She knitted hundreds of newborn caps for babies and donated them to area hospitals-even when she was almost completely blind. Both of my sisters have winter caps that she made near the end of her life that have mis-stitches and holes because of her blindness. It's such a wonderful thing to have those hats to remind us of her.

Bernice Brunner Hills was a lovely woman who was treasured by so many. She loved sharing her love and her talents with those in her life. Bernice possessed a vibrant faith that brought her both joy and strength when her days became more challenging.

Bernice Mary Brunner Hills leaves behind her children, Sally Thelen, Kurt Brunner, Walter Brunner, Alma Verner; 13 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren.

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine,
et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Requiéscat in pace. Amen.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

+J.M.J.+
Offering prayers for her soul and for the comfort of those who loved her.

Mrs. K.

Cathy said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your dear G Grandma!
:(

What a tribute your post was. You really brought her story to life and what a story!
She sounds like an amazing woman.

She'll be in my prayers, as will your family.

Catholic Teen said...

Thank you both for your prayers.