By HDN Staff
RUDYARD Bernece Marie Wolery, 93, died Sunday, Dec. 16, 2001, at a Chester nursing home.
Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Thursday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Rudyard. Burial will follow in the Rudyard Cemetery.
Bernece was born Sept. 14, 1908, at New Auburn, Wis., to Earnest and Mary (Waugh) Shipman. Her mother died during the flu epidemic in 1918, so Bernece was raised in Wisconsin by Grandmother Waugh. She received her education there, graduating from New Auburn High School in 1927.
Bernece came to Montana to be near her father, Earnest. He married Anna Schwartz and together they raised a new family of five. While living in Rudyard, Bernece kept books for the Soderholm family business. She eventually moved to Havre to continue her education at Northern Montana College. She worked as a housekeeper for the Roper and Koefod families in Havre. After she received her teacher's certificate, Bernece began teaching at the Red Rock School north of Havre. In the few years that followed, she continued to teach at various country schools in the Hi-Line. She was teaching at the Grassy Butte School north of Inverness when she met Olyn C. Wolery. They were married in Havre on May 27, 1939.
The Wolery's initially farmed in the Goldstone community north of Rudyard. Bernece worked as a substitute teacher for a few years, then devoted her time to homemaking and motherhood. They raised their family of four on their north Inverness farm, the place they home for more than 50 years.
Bernece and Olyn moved to the Liberty County Nursing Home in Chester in 1997.
Bernece was a longtime member of the Minneota Friendly Club. She and served as clerk of the Grassy Butte School Board and had served on the Inverness School Board.
Her hobbies included sewing, crocheting, reading, and crossword puzzles. She loved music, especially the old-time hymns, and enjoyed playing the piano and singing. Her greatest enjoyment was taking care of her family and friends. Bernece was an exceptional hostess. Coffee and cookies were always available and she could whip up a wonderful meal on very short notice. She will be remembered for her delicious homemade cookies and maple sticks. Mostly, she will be remembered as a gentle, caring woman who loved to serve the ones she loved.
Bernece was preceded in death by her parents, Earnest and Mary (Waugh) Shipman; brother, Raymond Shipman; sister, Ruthie Smith; granddaughter, Jolene Wolery.
Survivors include her husband of 62 years, Olyn Wolery of Chester; sons, Leroy (Marilyn) Wolery of Gildford, Sterling (Betty Ann) Wolery of Joplin, and Merlin (Patricia) Wolery of Rudyard; daughter, Coleen (Ron) Vestal of Aurora, Colo.; brother, Ercel Shipman of Beaver Dam, Wis.; sisters, Ann Tracht of Kalispell, Louise Richter of Omak, Wash., Doris Een of Rudyard, Marion Gilson of Guernsey, Wyo., Donna Nealy of Chester; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; numerous nephews and nieces.
Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.