Bernice Gustaw (nee Lee)
April 19, 1931 – April 21, 2021
It is with much sorrow in our hearts that we announce the passing of our wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother on April 21, 2021. She was hospitalized initially at the Gimli Hospital, then in the medical ward at the Health Sciences Centre and finally at the Arborg Health Centre. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, she suffered mainly alone with a malfunctioning heart.
Bernice was born on April 19, 1931 on the family farm in Wampum, MB as the fifth child in a family of six. Her older sister was so happy to have a sister that she cried. Bernice was a lovely child and was called the Wampum doll, even into her adult years.
Bernice was predeceased by her parents Julius and Gina; an older sister Judith (Iver); three brothers, Melvin (in infancy), Lawrence and Henry (Mildred) and her youngest son Karol. She is survived by her husband Frank of over 68 years and her children, twins Elizabeth (Ken) and Richard (Colette), Karen (Ray), Stephanie (Leland), Eleanor and David; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her younger sister Fern (Clarence) and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
Bernice attended school in Wampum. Grades nine and ten were achieved through correspondence courses offered by the Department of Education. Grades eleven and twelve were taken at the Roseau Collegiate just “across the line” in the USA. After graduation, she took the short course offered for “permit teachers”. She then taught at the rural Piney elementary school, and went on to teach a second year in her own school district at Wampum.
She met her future husband Frank on the train as both were on their way to Winnipeg for a two day teachers’ convention. They were engaged the following summer, and married the following year in July. Together they raised a family of seven children, as noted above. Bernice became a loving, caring mother, and reached down to her grandchildren and the older great-grandchildren who adore her to this day.
Bernice was a true “heart to heart” person. Although beautiful physically, her inner character spoke volumes to those who chose to know her. She never failed to express her appreciation for the simplest favours, a “thank you so much” was always on her lips. Her eyes worked with her mind as she expressed herself in the simplest ways.
Bernice became a person of deep faith, but never flaunted it. Jesus was her Saviour and Lord of her life. She read her Bible daily, and sought to put into practice what she learned from it. A key verse which she learned to depend upon greatly is found in I Peter 5:7 “Cast your cares upon Him (Jesus) because He cares for you.” Reading good books was a life-long hobby…along with a good cup of coffee! Working at the Thrift Shop, and the Senior bimonthly meetings were a special treat for her. Bernice was truly a rare gem and a precious jewel.
The family wishes to thank all those who prayed for us and supported us with expressions of sympathy. We also thank the Doctors, Nurses and Aides who cared for her “beyond the call of duty” at each hospital. If friends so desire, donations may be made in Bernice’s name to a charity of your choice, or to the Beaver Creek Bible Camp. (She loved children!)
Bernice's service can be viewing via the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XPj-fsBwFI
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bernice Gustaw, please visit our floral store.