Bernice Cecilia Cole

March 29, 1927 - March 20, 2020

Bernice Cecilia Cole passed away on Friday, March 20, 2020, at the Michaelson Health Center in Batavia, Illinois. Bernice was born on March 29, 1927 in Chicago to Aloyious and Gertrude (nee Schoemann) Walch. She was married to George Rider Cole Jr., on October 30, 1948 in Chicago.  They moved to West Chicago in 1958 where they raised their six children.  They retired to the Villages in Florida in 1991.

Bernice received a Certificate of Newborn Nursery Technician in Chicago in 1946.  She worked at Delnor Community Hospital in St. Charles, and then at Central DuPage Hospital in the Nursery, as an Infant Nurse’s Aide from 1963 until retiring in 1989.  She was a longtime member of Catholic Daughters of America at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in West Chicago.  Bernice loved to can the numerous vegetables from George’s bountiful garden, giving dozens of canned tomatoes and spring flowers to the Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Mary’s.  She also loved to cross-stitch, giving many pillow cases to the Sisters.  Upon retirement in Florida, she was a volunteer at Leesburg Medical Center, Leesburg.

Bernice returned to Illinois in 2002, where she lived at the Holmstad in Batavia.  Her life was busy,    working in the gift shop, singing in the choir, book club facilitator, floor representative, helping with the Christmas bazaar, and much more.  She loved her time with the residents at the Michaelson Center, walking them to the dining room and reading to them.  As Bernice’s health needs increased, she moved to the Michaelson Center and was very appreciative when other residents did the same for her.

Bernice and George spent twenty plus years vacationing at their favorite resort in Spooner, WI.  Other travel highlights included a Hawaiian cruise, and a trip to Italy with the St. Peter’s choir in Geneva. She always said how thankful she was to have been able to see Rome.

Bernice leaves behind her five children, Ann (Richard) Smith, Marilyn (Michael) Day, Dorothy “Dottie” Krett, Janet (Ken) Wood, and Robert (Diane) Cole; sister, Marge (Dennis) Hagedorn, brother-in law, William Cole, cousin, MaryAnn Illarde (née Schoemann), her grandchildren, Scott (Erin) Smith, Daniel (Vicki) Smith, Brian (Kellie) Smith, Steven Smith, Eric (Lori) Day, Ryan (Amy) Krett, Rebecca (Chris) Brown, Julie (Ben) Grumbles, Paul (Sandra) Krett, Sarah Wood, Mark and Jacob Cole, great grandchildren, Nole, Nora, Isla, Sebastian, Everett, Miles, Adelle, Owen, Benjamin and Noah, nieces and nephews, Debra, Kathy, Rick, Melissa, Brian, Sandy and Donna.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Aloyious and Gertrude Walch, husband, George Cole, brother, Bernard Walch, son, Mark Cole, son-in-law, John (Dottie) Krett, and grandson, Kevin (Marilyn and Mike) Day.

With following the guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 there will not be a funeral service at this time.  A funeral mass and celebration of Bernice’s life will be planned at a later date.

Interment will take place at Calvary Cemetery in West Chicago, also at a later date.

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