Bernice Atkinson

May 19, 1924-Jan. 4, 2022

Bernice Ruth Atkinson,

97, formerly of Willow

City, ND passed away at

the Good Samaritan Nurs-

ing Home on January 4,


Bernice was born on

May 19, 1924 in the Bot-

tineau Hospital to Charles

and Anna (Zimmerman)

Hanson of Willow City,


She was raised on the

farm near Willow City

and graduated from Wil-

low City High School in

1942. She enjoyed her

years growing up on the

farm and especially en-

joyed being with her

friends, at times staying in

Willow City with them

during the winter months

of the school year.

After graduating from

high school, she traveled

to Oceanside, California

to join Harlin Atkinson,

who was in the Marine

Corps stationed at Camp

Pendleton in Oceanside.

They were married on

Easter Sunday April 25th,

1943. They lived in a du-

plex directly on the beach

in Oceanside where she

hosted several friends,

who also were also in Cal-

ifornia during the war

years. Also while there,

Bernice worked at the PX

commissary on the Camp

Pendleton Base.

Bernice returned to Wil-

low City when Harlin was

transferred overseas in

1944. As the war ended

Harlin was discharged

from the service, and he

and Bernice began farm-

ing and ranching in the

Willow City area while

raising 4 children, Jacque-

line, Brian, Van, and Lisa.

Those were years of picn-

ics, fishing trips, card par-

ties, dances, going to town

on Saturday night, and

many family get togethers.

The family spent one

winter in Puyallup, Wash-


Bernice was active on

the farm, whether it was

milking cows, raising

chickens, caring for lambs

or cooking for the work

crews. Raising and show-

ing Appaloosa and Quar-

ter horses, traveling to

many horse shows, and

holding a public auction

of the horses raised on the

ranch was another activity

she was active in.

She was also a

homemaker, and an active

member of the Good

Neighbor’s Club. She

designed the house that

was built on the farm in

1967. Before flipping

houses was a tv show,

Bernice purchased a

house in Willow City,

completely renovated it,

and sold it.

For several years Ber-

nice was owner and

operator of the Waterhole

Bar in Willow City. It was

where lots of card playing

took place and where Ber-

nice made stew suppers

for hunters and snowmo-

bilers at various times.

She was a member of

the First Lutheran Church

in Willow City and proud

of the fact that her grand-

father was one of the

founders. She was active

in the community and an

avid bingo and whist


In her later years Ber-

nice enjoyed her family,

company, and her dog

while watching all the ac-

tivity on the farm.

Bernice is survived by:

daughter, Jacqueline

Fecho, (Loren) Willow

City, ND, sons Brian At-

kinson (Jodi) Bottineau,

ND, and Van Atkinson

(Susan) Willow City, ND,

daughter Lisa Atkinson,

Bottineau. ND. Grandchil-

dren Renata Prellwitz,

(Gary) Lyndon Station,

WI, Brandon Fecho (Lori)

Willow City, ND, Blaine

Fecho (Dawn) Minot, ND,

Tyler Atkinson (Krystall),

Bismarck, ND, Burton At-

kinson (Erica), Minot, ND,

Charles Atkinson (Brynn)

Bismarck, ND, Spencer

Atkinson (Miranda) Wil-

low City, ND, Cole Atkin-

son, (Gretchen) Bismarck,

ND, Casey Atkinson,

(Amy) Fargo, ND,

Maxwell Peterson, Bot-

tineau, ND;


Lauren Prellwitz, Ty

Domben, Darian Casavant,

Maren Fecho, Gage Fecho,

Bailey Fecho, Austin

Fecho, Kenzie Fecho,

Evan Atkinson, Parker At-

kinson, Luke Atkinson,

Keaton Atkinson, Weston

Atkinson, Clara Atkinson,

Scarlett Atkinson, Leroy

Atkinson, Lyra Monson,

Julian Lugar, Connor At-

kinson, Gemma Atkinson,

Ace Atkinson and

great-great grandchild,

Cutter Casavant.

Bernice was preceded

in death by: her parents,

husband of 69 years,

brother, Marvin Hanson,

and great-grandchild

Adam Atkinson.

A memorial service

will be held in the spring

of 2022. Interment will be

at the Willow City

Memorial Cemetery later

in the spring.

(Nero Funeral Home,