Bernice G. Carlson, 94, loving wife, mother and grandmother, died from a brain hemorrhage on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.
Bernice Christianson was born Sept. 14, 1919, in Bottineau, to Casper and Ella Christianson. She was one of nine siblings growing up on a farm in the Turtle Mountains of northern North Dakota during the trials of the Great Depression. She attended a rural school in her early years and graduated from Bottineau High School in 1937. Immediately following graduation, Bernice enrolled at Minot State Teacher's College and in 1939 received an associate degree. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse that included grades one to eight. Hard work was the norm as she not only taught eight different grades but also acted as custodian and maintenance person for $50 a month.
While at Minot State, Bernice met Harold Carlson, of rural Antler. Despite turning Harold down for a first date, they were married on June 12, 1942, and remained inseparable for 72 years. That same year, after Harold's graduation, they taught together in Greely Consolidated School District until moving to Glenburn in 1944. At that point Bernice ended her formal teaching career and began her most important job as a mother and "teacher" to her four children: Nancy (Ron) Halvorson, Gary Carlson, Pam (Edward) Carlson and Keith (Charlotte) Carlson. Bernice and Harold moved to Grand Forks in 1954 where she lived for 60 years.
Bernice was a gentle caring woman who generously poured her life into the success of her husband and children. She was a great listener who was always ready to be an encouragement to others.
Traveling was truly enjoyable for her. As a child she dreamed to see the North Dakota State Mill and Elevator in Grand Forks. She once laughed, "Now I can see it every day from my front yard." Trips to the west and east coasts, Alaska, Europe and Hawaii were some of her favorites. She loved to cook, and her exceptional lefse and krumkake were two favorites. She loved gardening and her family secretly believed "she talked to her plants" to encourage their growth.
She was deeply loved and will be sorely missed, but we rejoice that she now resides in the loving arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ, for a new life in eternity.
She was preceded in death by: her parents; one brother, Clarence Christianson; and five sisters, Alma Halvorson, Helen Bye, Emma Halvorson, Ella Mae Christianson and Florence Struck.
She is survived by: her husband; four children and eight grandchildren, Jennifer Willging, Susan Hanson, Laura Schirber, Sara Halvorson, Christine Kruse, David Carlson, Becky Carlson and Elizabeth Carlson and 10 great-grandchildren.
A funeral service to celebrate Bernice's life will be held: Saturday, June 7, at 11 a.m. at Grace Baptist Church, 700-24th Ave. South in Grand Forks, where she was an active member.
Interment will be: at Memorial Park Cemetery in Grand Forks.
Visitation at Amundson Funeral Home in Grand Forks will be held Friday, June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. Visitation will also continue one hour prior to the service at the church.
A guestbook may be signed or viewed at (www.amundsonfuneralhome.com).