Sept. 29, 1918 – Feb. 2, 2020
Funeral services for Bernice E. Johansen, 101, were held on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Audubon with Pastor Kelley Pedersen officiating. Interment was in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon. Honorary casket bearers were Richard Bonnesen, Douglas Bonnesen, Kurtis Bonnesen, Mason Sangwin, Trevor Sangwin, Alex Sangwin, and Brendan Petersen. Casket bearers were Steve Burgess, Nathan Irlmeier, Matthew Petersen, Bruce Bonnesen, Mark Sangwin, and Jesse McKelvey. The Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
Bernice Elizabeth Johansen, the daughter of Chris and Anna Marie (Hartvigsen) Juel, was born Sept. 29, 1918, on her parents’ farm in Sharon Township, Audubon County, and died on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, at Kennybrook Village in Grimes, at the age of 101 years, 4 months, and 3 days.
At the young age of four, her mother passed away and Bernice was given a home with her aunt and uncle, Palma and Charles Sornson. Bernice was baptized and confirmed in the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kimballton. She attended Audubon County rural schools and the Audubon Community High School. While growing up, she was active in 4-H, and in 1933, she was judged the healthiest 4-H girl in Audubon County!
In 1938, Bernice was united in marriage to Everett Johansen. They were blessed with three daughters: Deanna, Mary Ellen, and Clarann. They farmed for many years in the Kimballton area. In 1967, they sold the farm, and Bernice, Everett, and their two youngest girls moved to Audubon. Bernice worked as a clerk and sales person at the Federated store until Everett and Bernice established the True Value Hardware store.
Bernice had been a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kimballton where she was an active member for many years and was also a member of the ladies circle and taught Sunday school for several years. Later, she became a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Audubon. Bernice was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother. She was so very kind, loving and supportive to all. She was an outstanding seamstress for her family, sewing graduation clothes, dresses, and even a wedding gown. A wonderful cook, she taught her girls and grandchildren the finer points of canning and creating wonderful meals, including dishes that were part of their Danish heritage. She loved flowers and her vegetable gardens.
Bernice and Everett loved to dance and attended dances with their friends every weekend for many years. They also loved to travel and took many trips with their good friends. Their happiest of travels were to Canada to visit their beloved Canadian cousins. Bernice had a particular love of antique glassware, and they made several trips south looking for the perfect pieces. Her entire family looked forward to her presence at holidays and all manner of life events and activities.
Preceding her in death was her husband, Everett Johansen; her daughter, Deanna Bonnesen; her son-in-law, Daryl Fischer; her parents; her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Rasmus and Johanna Johansen; her sisters and brothers: Hartvig and Ora Juel, Folmer and Elsie Juel, Henry and Minerva Andersen Gubbels, Goldie and Ted Ebert, and Frances and Waldo Johansen; her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Dorothy and Forrest Petersen and LeRoy and Margie Johansen; her nephews: Michael Petersen, Franklin Ebert, and Ricky Johansen; and her nieces, Shirlyn Reser and Denise Kleffman.
Survivors include her daughters: Mary Ellen Fischer of Ankeny, and Clarann and husband Steve Burgess of Clive; her son-in-law, Richard Bonnesen of Aurelia; her grandchildren: Sue and husband Mark Sangwin of Aurelia, Bruce Bonnesen and fiancée Karla Solko of Aurelia, Vanessa and husband Jesse McKelvey of Clive, Marisa and husband Matthew Petersen of Ankeny, and Nathan and wife Renae Irlmeier of Cumming; her great-grandchildren: Mason and wife Stephanie Sangwin, Trevor Sangwin and friend Jacee Ahnemann, Alex Sangwin, Douglas Bonnesen, Kurtis Bonnesen and fiancée Ashlnn Jarvis, all of Aurelia; Tiffany Bonnesen of Ames; Karenna Petersen, Brendan Petersen, and Kiersten Petersen, all of Ankeny; and Nash Irlmeier of Cumming; her great-great grandchildren: Stetson Sangwin and Brynlee and Kal Bonnesen, all of Aurelia; her brother-in-law, Bob and wife Nelda Johansen of Chariton; her sister-in-law, Mildred Warren of Exira; her cousin she was raised with Mary Ann and husband Don Spooner of Lake Bluff, Ill; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.