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Bernice Kathleen McDonell passed away peacefully on January 15, 2021. Bernice will be remembered by her children: Dianne (Gary) Malanchen, Gyle (Len) Tenpas and Dale (Kathy): grandchildren Wendy, Christopher, Sherry (Greg), Shanon (Steven), Nicholas, Chelsea(Del) and Kolten: and several great grandchildren, brother Rodney (Marlene) and sister-in-law Alice.
Bernice was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, John, her parents John and Clara Kluthe, brothers: Joe (Dorothy), Ben (Bilda), Johnny and George; and sister, Eileen (John Kaup) (Harold Cassidy).
Bernice was born on the family farm of John and Clara Kluthe, located north of St. Albert. She and her siblings: Joe, Ben, Johnny, George, Eileen and Rodney attended Volmer school located 2 miles north of their farm. They rode horses to school in summer and road in a horse drawn cutter during the winter. Bernice forever loved and supported her parents, her siblings and their families.
As a young lady she enjoyed playing baseball, skating and playing piano. Bernice was truly a gifted pianist; she could play by note and by ear.
Bernice married John McDonell on November 17, 1947. They were the first couple to be married in the St. Albert Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. John and Bernice were married for 64 years, and they lived on the original McDonell family farm homestead where they raised their children Dianne, Gyle and Dale.
She enjoyed farm life: driving the tractor, bailing hay, driving the combine and growing a large vegetable garden. She especially loved growing flowers. In her spare time she liked to curl with family and friends at Riviere Qui Barre and St.Albert.
She cherished family life, and she was always engaged in her children’s activities including 4H, sports and school events. Mom was adamant that her children receive a secondary education after completing high school.
Some of her most cherished times were with her grandchildren. First came Wendy, Sherry and Shanon. They spent a lot of time with mom and dad on the farm. Mom showed them all how to bake.
Then along came two little boys: Christopher and Nicholas. Oh my, Grandma knew just how to handle these boys – just keep the cookie jar full. More babies came later for Grandma to enjoy, Chelsea and Kolten. She could see them often as they lived across the field from the farm. Bernice cherished great grandchildren that expanded her family over time.
Bernice enjoyed family celebrations and reunions when her family and other families, gathered to enjoy each other’s company, memories and good food.
A Private family Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Friday, January 22, 2021 at St. Albert Catholic Church.
Please consider a memorial donation to West Sturgeon Aging In Place Foundation (West Country Hearth), 26504 SH 633 Sturgeon County, AB, T8T 1R9.