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Bernice Packard

Bernice Packard

The funeral Mass for Bernice Packard will be celebrated 11 a.m. March 16, 2013, at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Wadena, with Father Donald Wagner as celebrant.

Bernice Louise (Maroney) Packard, 93, of Wadena passed away March 12, 2013, at the Long Prairie Memorial Nursing Home where she had resided the last 16 months. A strong woman of Irish heritage, she overcame lung cancer, but succumbed to Lewy Body Parkinson's.

Bernice was born Jan. 2, 1920, the sixth child of John H. and Grace (Stevenson) Maroney, in rural Wadena. She attended St. Ann's school through the eighth grade and graduated as salutatorian from Wadena High School in 1938.

She worked as a photographer and photographer's assistant for Rex McDonald Studio during high school, for Osborne Studio in Dickinson, N.D., from 1940-1945 and then returned to Rex McDonald Studio for many years.

Bernice married Sidney Packard on Sept. 4, 1948. They lived on a farm southwest of Wadena where they raised two sons and two daughters.

Active throughout her life in the community in which she was born, Bernice chaired the District 1541 School Board, and was a member of St. Ann's Christian Mothers, Wadena Whirl-A-Ways Square Dance Club, as well as a 4-H leader.

Bernice also owned Packard Art Supply, taught tole painting and rosemaling, made quilts for each of her children and grandchildren and participated in many craft shows in the area.

She and Sidney enjoyed traveling, with trips to England and Alaska providing particularly special memories. They retired from the land in 2000 and moved into Wadena. They later celebrated 63 years together.

Bernice was the matriarch and moral compass for her devoted family.

Bernice is survived by sons, Mark (Audrey) of Mantorville, Minn., and Bruce (Nona) of Papillion, Neb.; daughters, Nancy Leasman (Ron) of Long Prairie and Christi Dickey (Bill) of Fergus Falls; brother-in-law, Herman Hammel; sister-in-law, Margaret Packard; 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; as well as many special nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Sidney in 2011; brothers, Howard and Richard Maroney; sisters, Mary Smead, Catherine Stombaugh, Frances Boehland and Lois Hammel; and son, Terence, who died at birth.

Pallbearers will be Mark Packard, Jr., Jeff Packard, David Packard, Bradley Packard, Michael Leasman, Silas Leasman, Charles Stombaugh and Walter Packard.

Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Wadena.

Arrangements are with Schuller Family Funeral Homes' Johnson-Schuller Chapel in Wadena.