Berniece Smith, 90, past away peacefully in her sleep, at home, surrounded by family, on August 26, 2013. She was born in Mountain Grove, MO on November 11, 1922 to the late Harry & Mary Frisk. Along with her parents she is preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Edward Smith, her eldest sister Avis, who died in infancy, and two of her brothers, Gene and Merle. Berniece leaves behind her brother and sisters, Vern Frisk, Beatrice Miller, Fern Rowley, Fairy Hale, Geneva Obermeyer, Genevive Turnham, and Janet Frisk, her two daughters, Avis Hammond and Denise Cargill, her grandchildren, Dennis Ross Jr., Jennifer Almandarez, Jason Ross, Jessyca Graves, Jina Hoffman-Martinez, Tiffany Ross, Jeffrey Hoffman Jr., Jeremy Ross, Noelle Cargill, Amanda Oneill, Nicolas Cargill, and Chelsea Uecker, 46 great & great- great grandchildren, and countless nieces and nephews.
Berniece moved with her family from their dairy farm in Missouri to Oakdale, CA in the late 1930’s when she was in her teens. After graduating from high school, she moved to the bay area to attend nursing school at UC Berkeley. In 1942, she began working as a nurse and also in the communications department. She was employed by the US Government for well over 40 years, working at the Oakland Army base and the Naval Air Station in Alameda. In addition to handling highly classified military communications, she would meet the ships bringing in injured servicemen and tend to them. That is where she met the love of her life, Edward Smith. They were married in Berkeley in 1945. In 1950, they moved with their two daughters to Hayward, CA, where Berniece resided for over 35 years. Shortly following the death of her husband in 1985, she moved to the Valley and made her rounds, spending time with her mother, sisters, daughters, and many of her grandchildren.
Berniece loved to live and lived to love. Family was always her first priority. She was very selfless and by all means a natural born care taker. She was very much a proper lady but she wasn’t afraid to get dirty and have fun. In her younger years, she loved riding her Harley Davidson, which was modified especially for her, since she stood a towering 4’11. She loved to travel and enjoyed going on cruises. She had many talents, hobbies and interests and was a major animal lover. She loved casinos and was a big time gambler on the penny and nickel slots. The little things in life are what made her the happiest. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her. To offer your condolences, pay tribute, or share memories go to www.berniece-elizabeth- smith.forevermissed.com
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Saturday, September 14, 2013