Born and raised on a farm in the Wells Creek community near Belvue, Bernice Owens and her brother Ed spoke only German until they started attending a small country school.
The family moved to Wamego in 1936 and Bernice graduated from Wamego High School in 1943. She worked at Duckwalls, O.B. Larson's and Sons and Town and Country Clothing Store before stating employment with Balderson/Caterpillar as a receptionist. She stayed there for the next 27 years, retiring at the age of 82. Bernice said she met many people and was at times considered the "community directory" because of her knowledge of the community.
Bernice attended high school with her future husband, George, who was also a neighbor. They were married Aug. 15, 1948. George worked for the Kansas Department of Transportation. They had one daughter, Julie. When she joined 4-H, Bernice became involved as a leader for the Cottonwood 4-H Club. She was also involved in the church ladies circle at the Presbyterian Church in Wamego.
The couple enjoyed fishing, and spent many summers in Branson fishing with her brother and his family. They also attended a few shows in Branson - Lawrence Welk and Joanne Castle. Bernice has also enjoyed trips to Alaska and a Caribbean cruise.
Bernice loves to crochet, making and framing doilies. She also enjoyed counted cross-stitch and baking.
Now at home at Via Christi Village in Manhattan, Bernice has surrounded herself with memories from home, a painting of the old farmstead, her crocheting, cross-stitch and pictures of family. She likes to play cards and bingo, as well as interacting with her new friends and neighbors. When visiting Bernice, just look for the "Gone Fishing" sign outside her door.