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Bernice Elizabeth (Bjorklund) Lee
May 4, 1931 ~ November 16, 2022 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother & soon to be great-great-grandmother, Bernice Elizabeth Lee, November 16, 2022 at the age of 91.
Bernice was brought into this world on May 4th, 1931 with the assistance of her dad in the family log cabin in Marina, AB, to Oscar & Gunhild (Engstrom) Bjorklund; the 3rd of 6 children & the first girl! Bernice went to school in Marina, growing up in the Worsley area.
For a few years, Bernice enjoyed working at the Fairview Hospital; in fact, the memories of that time were so special to her that she frequently spoke fondly of it. In June of 1951, Bernice was asked to be a bridesmaid for her brother Walter as he was about to marry Mae Lee. Coincidently, Mae had her handsome & charismatic brother Toralph representing as Best Man, who quickly became Bernice’s “Best Man”, and the rest was history!
Toralph & Bernice were married on November 5, 1952, welcoming their first son Ron in 1953, Wayne in 1956, Allan in 1958 & Verne in 1960. Bernice was a very busy lady! She always spoke fondly and lovingly about raising her four sons with Toralph on the family farm.
Bernice was extremely artistic & creative. She put her passion into creating numerous crafts that can still be found in many homes today; because she not only sold her crafts, she taught classes so others could enjoy the passion too! Some of the most memorable were amazing macrame hanging tables with lamps in them, paper tole, moose hair tufting, beaded hangers and tables, unique Christmas decorations, and floral wreaths. If you could craft it, Bernice would do it! One day she showed up at her son Ron’s place and asked if he would help her find a scroll saw to purchase, which he did, and she promptly said, “Ok, now this is yours, all I need now is for you to cut wood patterns for me!” … she knew how to get what she wanted!
Bernice was a Fashionista Extraordinaire! She loved shopping for fashionable clothes & accessories and always had her hair “just so". Bernice took great pride in her appearance, but she took even greater pride in her family, and she was a fierce protector of her pack. Bernice was overjoyed to welcome three beautiful granddaughters starting in the '70s, with whom she could share her passion for crafts, and the 6 grandsons that came along thoroughly enjoyed her crafting store & cash register too. Then, luckily, two more sweet young granddaughters arrived in the ’90s to spill beads, dried flowers, and play with Grandma's crafts; precious memories they all carry to this day and will live on with them forever.
Bernice wore several “hats” throughout her lifetime; besides being an amazing Matriarch, daughter, and sister, she was also a beloved Mother-in-Law, precious Aunt to many, and a dear friend, with friendships lasting across a lifetime and around the globe. She also spent time working at the Worsley Ski Hill, Worsley Café and was most recently known as “Garrison Manor’s Coffee Maker”. Bernice was a social butterfly who, for most of her life, graced every dance floor possible with her soul mate and life partner, both on and off the dance floor, until his passing on March 25, 2014.
Bernice and Toralph were quite exceptional grandparents, keeping all six grandsons and a granddaughter for a weekend and taking them all skiing, and always with amazing patience!
Bernice will be missed by SO many! She is Lovingly remembered by her remaining sons and their families: Ron (Sally) Lee; Tara (Jay) Boyd, Jordan (Richelin) Boyd, Kianna Boyd; Tanya Lee, Merick & Kieran Bontrup; Mike (Julia) Lee, Gatlin, Wayne’s family; Michael (Erin) Lee, Dawson Crowther-Currie, Emma & Malina Lee; Kyle (Carlee) Lee, Allan Lee; Dawn Lee, Braiden Nelson, Kyra (Jerald) Carruthers; Devan (Tara) Zaruk, Atticus; Kayla (Ryan) Hostetler, Rylee; Jenna Lee; Connor MacPhail-Harness, Verne (Lorri) Lee, Jordan; Jayson (Chantelle) Lee, Harper, Cohen and Austin, brother Gordon (Beverley) Bjorklund, Sister-in-law Mae Bjorklund and Brother-in-law Bill West, numerous Nieces, Nephews, friends & acquaintances, as well as staff at the manor, lodge and hospital - everybody loved Bernice!
Bernice was predeceased by her husband Toralph, son Wayne, grandson Shaun, and parents Oscar & Gunhild Bjorklund. Siblings(spouses): Lloyd (Cathy) Bjorklund; Walter Bjorklund; Jeanie West; Martha (Donald) Carty.
A Celebration of Life will take place Saturday, July 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Peace Valley Funeral Home in Fairview, with interment to follow at Waterhole Cemetery. A luncheon will take place back at the funeral home following the interment.
Bernice’s family would like to thank the staff at Fairview hospital who so lovingly cared for our precious one in her last days and the staff at Peace Valley Funeral Home who lovingly took over care after Mom’s transition
Care has been entrusted to Peace Valley Funeral Home. 780-835-3306.