Bernice LaValle Berzill Pollak Gaylord went to be with her beloved parents and Heavenly Father on Thursday, June 18, 2020.
She was born June 14, 1921, the only child of Claude and Elsie (Wolfmeyer) Berzill. Bernice attended Shiocton High School graduating in 1939. She then went on to attend Oshkosh Business College graduating in 1940.
Bernice married Victor Pollak on March 27, 1943 in Long Beach, CA. He preceded her in death on Nov. 16, 1971. She married George A. Gaylord on May 27, 1986 at The Little Brown Church in the Vale at Nashua, Iowa. He passed away on Jan. 23, 1995.
Bernice’s first job was a the Buckstaff Company in Oshkosh where she was billing clerk. During World War II, she was employed at Careco Ship Supply in Long Beach, California, and as a secretary in the State Office of Defense Transportation in Reno, Nevada. Upon returning to Wisconsin, she worked as a secretary at the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, and the Shiocton High School. The remainder of her work career was spent as a secretary and bookkeeper for the University of Wisconsin Extension in Wautoma, retiring after 29 years of service.
She was a member of Grace United Methodist Church, Waushara/Wautoma Senior Citizens, and AARP. Bernice also belonged to the Red Hat Ladies and Daughters of the Nile.
In addition to her husbands, she was preceded in death by her parents; her stepson, David Gaylord; special friend, Bill Ritter, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and many specially loved family and friends. She is survived by cousins, nieces, nephews, and many cherished dear friends.
Bernice had an outstanding love for all of life’s moments. She enjoyed the adventures of traveling as well as the peacefulness of sitting outside reading a book. Her sense of calm allowed her to view the challenges in her life as blessings in disguise. To Bernice, the glass was never “half full” it was always full to the brim. Her cheerfulness and positive attitude drew many people to her. Nothing made her happier than to relax over a meal and enjoy a good conversation with friends and family. She enjoyed being a hostess and took pride in decorating her home so that it was beautiful and welcoming to anyone who stopped in for a visit. Family was a grounding force in her life. Bernice loved digging into her heritage and learning the stories of those who came before her. She had many wonderful stories of her own to share. Stories of a life filled with 99 years of love and joy. Stories that she made with each of us and that we’ll always remember and pass on. Thank you to all of her friends and healthcare workers-she loved you all.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 26, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Grace United Methodist Church in Wautoma with Rev. Rafael Cubillette officiating. She will be laid to rest at Highland Memorial Park in Appleton.
Visitation will be held at the Church on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.
Due to current pandemic recommendations, social distancing practices and wearing a mask will be required at the visitation and services.