Beloved sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, friend and neighbor made her journey to be with the Lord on January 9, 2015, just short of her 106th birthday. Bernice was born on March 2, 1909, in Guymon, Oklahoma, and spent her teen years in Flagstaff, Arizona. She often spoke with pride of working at J C Penney in Flagstaff where she was trained to be an office manager at age 17.
In 1939, Bernice moved to Bakersfield, California. She and her husband Everette then relocated to Downey in 1943 and founded Mason Real Estate Company in 1958. Their partnership in buying/selling real estate and community activities, such as the incorporation of Downey, continued until Everette passed away.
Bernice touched many lives with her various talents: knitting, crocheting, sewing and playing the organ. She enjoyed working in her flower-filled yard, volunteering at the First Baptist Church of Downey, and serving as secretary for PEO Chapter MX in Downey.
At age 89, Bernice began taking computer classes and was still studying Bible lessons via TV at the time of her passing. She continued to capably drive her beloved Chrysler LeBaron until age 103. Bernice's stories ranged from traveling by covered wagon, going to school by pony and buggy, and taking a trip to the moon with her grandson using the computer. Bernice also took great pride in being an American.
Unconditionally, Bernice loved her family and always considered their needs first. She was predeceased by her brother Richard Terry, sister Frances Wilson, husband Everette Mason and son Terry Mason. Bernice is survived by her sister Althea Burns (age 108), daughters Lea Fratello and Jo Ann Pitman, daughter-in-law Julie Mason, granddaughters Laurie Marks and Susan Purkey, grandsons Michael Jones, Steve Mason and Tev Mason and great-grandson Ryan Beech.
The family wishes to acknowledge and thank Danny Enriquez for his caring friendship and assistance over the years.
A graveside service was held for Bernice on Friday, January 16, 2015, at Rose Hills Memorial Park. A memorial service and reception are also planned for Wednesday, January 28, 1:00 p.m., at the First Baptist Church of Downey.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Bernice's name to the First Baptist Church of Downey, the American Cancer Society, or a charity of your choice.
Published: Jan. 22, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 41