Obituary of Bernice Duran
On August 23, 2018, at the age of 95, Bernice Duran passed away peacefully in her sleep. She was comforted by her loved ones: sons Gary (Fresno, CA) and David (Lakewood, CO), daughter-in-law Sherri (Fresno, CA), and grandchildren Andrea (Oakland, CA), Steven (Fresno, CA) and Rachel (Los Angles, CA).
Bernice was born in Vallejo on the last day in 1922. She was the eldest of two daughters of William and Helen Beard. She and her sister, Dorothy, remained close all of their lives. Bernice grew up sharing time in Grass Valley, Knights Landing, and Woodland and graduated from Woodland View High School before World War II. As a young girl she survived tuberculosis living on her grandparent’s porch in Grass Valley where she and Dorothy were educated in a one room school house.
She was 3rd generation U.S. Navy joining the Waves and worked as an air control tower operator in Hollister, honorably discharged at the end of WWII. She then was one of only two women earning an AA degree in drafting from Stanford in her class and worked as a draftsman in San Diego before moving to San Francisco and working for AT&T.
Bernice met the love of her life at a dance in San Francisco and went on to marry Sam in 1952. They soon started a family having two sons, Gary and David. Bernice was a loving wife and devoted mother. She passed on her love of nature and outdoor adventures to their family as they went on many a backcountry excursion. Bernice became known for her many talents and skills with gardening, cooking, textile arts, and wide variety of other crafts.
She also not only participated in but volunteered hosting numerous activities and events. These included church school and elementary school, turning their home into a polling precinct, selling VFW “Buddy Poppies” every Memorial Day, volunteering with at the Veterans Hospital (over 1000 hours!), and being a 65+ year member of the VFW. She went out of her way to help people and touched many lives through these actions.
One thing she is remembered for is her big smile to most everyone she met.