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Bernice Helen Mueller was born 1:05 A.M., October 11, 1911 to Charles E. Gibson and Lillian Nordman Gibson in the County of St. Louis, 6602 Chambelain Avenue, University, Missouri.

Visitation will be held Thursday February 20, 2014 from 10:00 to 11:00 A.M. at Evans Funeral Home with services beginning at 11:00 A.M. with Wesley Wallace officiating. Pallbearers are; Donald Dillman, Dennis Newkirk, Carl Barnes, Jr., AJ Cabanes and Byron Kruse. Honorary Pallbearer is Michael Miller. Burial will be in Boone Creek Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.

Bernice’s father passed away three years later with Tuberculosis leaving her mother as a single woman to make her way in the world while raising a daughter. Being a member of the Eastern Star, Bernice’s mother was able to place her in a Masonic Orphanage for several years. Bernice’s mother married again approximately three years later taking Bernice home to live having a baby sister born twelve years later and then baby brother 15 years later and with her mother having an extreme arthritic condition Bernice helped raise her brother and sister.

Later on in life Bernice had been ask by a young man to meet him at a party and so to get to the party she had to take several buses to reach her destination. She had borrowed a dress and felt after arriving at the party that her dress was probably not as appropriate and nice as the other dresses being worn. Well,, the young man never showed up and so while she and other girls were waiting for the bus for their return home a young gentleman named Oscar pulled up and ask if he could give her a ride home. She accepted and rode home in a beautiful now vintage car with isinglass windows with curtains. She apologized for her dress and he told her “I like the face, the dress could be changed!” This was the beginning of a long and lasting relationship with the marriage of Bernice Helen Mueller and Oscar Friedrich Mueller on April 28, 1933.

Oscar and Bernice lived with his parents above his parents’ Hardware and Electrical Business in St. Louis, Missouri later on purchasing a beautiful little home of their own at 5510 Sutherland Avenue in St. Louis. Bernice worked in a piston factory for awhile and with Oscar being an Electrical Engineer he began his own Electrical business with Bernice now a fulltime bookkeeper for the next nineteen years.

In November 1950 driving a ¾ ton 1949 Chevrolet Oscar approached the Wabash train crossing, and with the glare of the sun shining very brightly on his windshield, slowed down but did not stop. The train hit his truck, being dragging it 190 feet. This was the beginning of a very long and difficult time for Bernice and her husband. Bernice never left his side at the hospital and brought him home in a full body cast. She was a very devoted wife and full time nurse.

Knowing they would not be able to continue with their business they sold their home in St. Louis and on March 28, 1952 closed the purchase of 440 acres of land in Texas County, Missouri. After several years of dairy farming they decided to down size, sold most of the land, purchased a new pickup with camper and began a beautiful life of travelling the United States which included driving to Alaska. What a couple they were! Oscar and Bernice also enjoyed fishing and warm weather so began travelling south for the winters to either Florida or Texas making many friends while there and meeting again the next year.

They took many many pictures and would present a slide showing after travels. If you have ever been to view these beautiful pictures, then you will know also what a very beautiful and loving lady would be greeting you at the door with a big bear hug and a lovely and fragrant aroma of freshly baked molasses cookies coming from the kitchen.

In 2003 Bernice fell while putting up a light bulb on their front porch breaking her pelvic bone and being in the hospital and then nursing home to heal in Houston, Missouri. Oscar being 99 years of age finally consented to enter the nursing home with Bernice so they could be together once again. Due to a decline of health, Oscar passed away two weeks later.

In time Bernice was able to leave the nursing home. She was encouraged by her long time friend Doris from Springfield, Missouri to come up and check out retirement living facilities. With the search for independent living Bernice settled into The Cambridge at 2900 South Jefferson, Springfield, Missouri and lived until her passing February 17, 2014. Bernice and Oscar and Doris and her husband had met on one of their camping trips south and continued to be friends until this day.

Bernice has enjoyed nine years of living at The Cambridge Independent Living. The Cambridge has offered a wonderful life of friendship and activities with Bernice acquiring title of the Bingo Queen and also known for her pink horn on her walker. The horn was given to her on her 99th birthday by Dennis Newkick. In her recent last two years she has had to have a little extra help but rewarded with meeting many wonderful health care helpers but especially one known as “Her Angel”, Tinnia and Bernice took to one another right off and began a very special relationship. It was no surprise to find these two indulging in conversation and perhaps admitting to indulging their favorite junk foods. Tinnia, Thank You for giving Bernice your love, your time and care and making her last years so happy!

Bernice has also been blessed with many many loving caretakers and two very special caretakers, her doctor, Dr. Salinas and Assistant, Amanda. Bernice and Dr. Salinas had a most blessed relationship and with his care and compassion assisted Bernice in having a very long and wonderful quality of life in her latter years. Dr. Salinas would take her hands in his and say “Now Bernice, I’m telling you these things because I love you and want you to continue to have a long and wonderful life”. She would then put both of her hands on his cheeks and say, “Yes Doctor, whatever you Say”, with a beautiful smile.

While living in Raymondville, Missouri, long time friends Andy Lee and Mary Johnson and their three girls would enjoy many slide show evenings with Bernice and Oscar. With Bernice moving to Springfield in 2004 and one of the girls, Cece, moving to Springfield in 2003, they were to spend many wonderful days together along with Cece’s husband Don. Bernice claimed Cece as her granddaughter. Bernice, Don and Cece went on many outings, just to mention a few, holiday dinners with Cece’s children and families, church, Ryan’s, and a much requested movie event “The War Horse” at the age of 101 years old. Bernice and Cece also enjoyed shopping, ice cream sundaes, talking for hours even if it was on the phone until 11:00 at night! They knew they could call each other any time of the day or night. While Don was in Iraq working, he had appointed Cece to purchase a bright red convertible sports car for him and so being, with the top down, Bernice totally looking like a beautiful movie star, with her sunglasses and scarf, they set off making one of the first maiden voyages of the bright red 6 speed sports car,, a little bumpy at first with Cece trying to drive a 6 speed, but lots of fun! There would also be times at Don and Cece’s watching a good movie, making cookies, visiting with Cece’s grandchildren. Cece would warn her that sometimes it would be a little wild with many children and grandchildren holidays and Bernice would say “Let’s Go For It!”. In our holiday trivial pursuit games, Bernice’s answers were always very well valued!

She was a devoted Christian. She was saved and baptized very early in life. She was a member of the First and Calvary Presbyterian Church in Springfield, MO.

Bernice loved horses and expressed she would love to see the Lipizzaner Stallions and so She and Cece attended the last showing of the Lipizzaner’s in Springfield with Bernice being the most Enthusiastic fan attending.

After returning from Iraq Don began part-time maintenance work at The Cambridge where Bernice lived. She absolutely Loved making all the others jealous with lots of kisses and hugs with Don. In living at the Cambridge Bernice no longer needed to cook her own meals and went completely awol from using a kitchen, therefore, what most people use as an oven, Bernice used to store lots of cookies and candy! She would also fill her refrigerator with candy bars for Don that she earned from playing Bingo.

And now, this will bring us to a time of confession as to what happened to Don’s candy bars when they were not so plentiful. On a recent Halloween Tinnia took her beautiful little granddaughter, Cloe (pronounced Clo) to see Bernice in her apartment. Cloe was a little shy and was not expected to take right up with Bernice,, little Cloe, dressed as a lady bug went right up to Bernice, putting her little hand in Bernice’s. She said lady bugs were nice and Bernice ask her if lady bugs fly. Cloe told Bernice she could not fly and so Bernice took her little arms and made them act like she was flying, so she now knew how to fly. From then on whenever Bernice won candy bars at Bingo she would give them to Tinnia for Cloe.

Being an avid reader and fond of libraries, after acquiring a large picture of a leopard, she donated it to the Springfield Library Center on Campbell and it is on display in the Children’s Library Department.

Bernice has left behind many many dear friends, a brother, Edward Borman also known as Buddy to Bernice, his wife Janet, of Alabama, niece Anne Borman-Nadler and family of St. Louis, Missouri, niece Beth Menah and family of Florida, nephew Keith Borman of California, and niece Melinda Borman and children of St. Louis, Missouri. Bernice was preceded in death by her husband, Oscar Mueller, her parents, one sister Eunice Borman and one nephew Michael Borman, husband of Melinda Borman.

A Wonderful message from Melinda Borman says it All,, “What a sweet, special person she was and such a blessing to all who knew her. She certainly lived a long, full life. But we know that Bee has gone on to a better place and I’m sure there was quite a greeting committee waiting there for one of her special Aunt Bee bear hugs!” of which we All Knew so Well.

The family respectfully requests that donations be made to the Raymondville Community Crossroads Church, in her honor, in lieu of floral arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to www.evansfh.com.

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