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Bernice Rose Anderson, age 91, passed away at Perham Living Transitions due to complications of kidney cancer and congestive heart failure. She received exceptional care from Hospice of the Red River Valley and the compassionate Perham Living Staff. Bernice was born on August 5,1932 at her family home in Bluffton, Minnesota to the late George and Julia (Dykhoff) Sweere. She married her childhood crush, Reuben Anderson on January 4, 1950, who preceded her in death in 2013.
After their marriage, Reuben and Bernice traveled for seven years around Minnesota while Reuben worked on road construction. But Bernice was a farm girl at heart, and in 1957, the couple purchased a farm in Homestead Township, north of New York Mills where they raised their four children. Together, the two worked the farm with Bernice focusing on her beloved cattle, and during this time, Reuben continued road construction as well. Bernice was an active 4-H Leader, encouraging 4-H members with their projects and entries at the county fair. She also served her community by volunteering with Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, Santa Anonymous and Elder’s Home Auxiliary. She was a diligent working woman, leading others by her example. In 1975, Reuben and Bernice sold the family farm and settled in New York Mills where she resided until recently moving to Perham Living Transitions.
Bernice (Grandma B) took immense pleasure in loving on family and friends. She was highly skilled in embroidery, crochet, baking, and trivia games. Impeccably stitched dish towels, afghans, apple pies and the renowned Grandma B pancakes were her specialties. Her hands were rarely still … unless she was reading a new book. She was delighted when friends would visit to share a cup of coffee, allowing her the opportunity to demonstrate her most recent projects while enjoying lively conversation.
For many years Bernice showed tremendous strength in giving uplifting encouragement to numerous family members challenged with cancer, while at the same time fighting many cancers of her own. Her attitude of bending with the wind, keeping a smile, and trusting God through the challenges of life instilled positive values that have served the family well. Her tenacity, charm and wit will be treasured always.
Bernice was predeceased by all her siblings, Florence (Carl) Bjelland, Harold (Betty) Sweere, Leonard (Iola) Sweere, Don Sweere, Joan (Eugene) Cooney, Yvonne Sweere.
Bernice is survived by her children: Kathy (Dean) Simpson of Perham; Joyce (John) Boubel of San Antonio, TX; Diane (Terry) Hepola of Perham; Doug (Melissa) Anderson of Elk River; 13 grandchildren: Brendt, Kristen, Sarah, Beth, Shawn, Jonathan, Andy, Travis, Matthew, Cory, Chelsea, Melanie, and Brianna; and 21 great-grandchildren. Also surviving Bernice is sister-in-law, Irene Sweere; brothers-in-law: Reino Anderson, Rudy (Mary) Anderson, and many dear nieces and nephews. All of these she loved and touched deeply.
Memorial donations can be made to New York Mills Fire & Rescue, Hospice of the Red River Valley