Betty Bernard, 87
Tuesday, July 09, 2013 3:47 AM
Betty Bernard, 87, died Friday, June 28, 2013, at the Ostrander Care Center after a lengthy bout with congestive heart failure.
She was born Betty Lou Durfey to Phineas and Lillian Durfey in Merrill, Iowa, on Sept. 7, 1925. The family moved to Chatfield where Betty graduated from high school in 1943.
In October of that year, she married John W. Bernard, a local farmer, and took up residence on a farm in Pleasant Grove Township. Five children joined them there. John and Betty were solid partners in life and on the farm. They raised their children to be involved in school and community.
They themselves led by example becoming active in school, church and community organizations such as 4-H. Betty's brother, Frank Durfey, traveled extensively around the world, and through that connection both John and Betty nurtured an appetite for different cultures and instilled the same in their children. They traveled to Africa, Europe, and South America to see for themselves some of what they had read. They became active here at home in the American Field Service and the International Farm Youth exchange and hosted a young man from Nepal and another from Paraguay in their home for an extended period of time.
After they moved to a farm in Spring Valley, they continued their involvement in 4-H and the American Field Service as well as the United Methodist Church there. In 1984, Betty became a widow, but continued the legacy she and her husband had fostered. Far from retiring into widowhood, she continued to be as active as ever, living her conviction that people must be of service to others.
She became a fast friend to people living their last days, visiting them and offering unlimited comfort wherever they were. Participating in the Meals on Wheels program she delivered food to shut-ins in their homes. Her church circle was a main focus of her attention; she found it to be a very uplifting and essential part of her life until she was unable to participate.
She is survived by her sister, Mary Madsen of Minneapolis; five children, John of Philadelphia; Stuart (Junelle) of Cedar; Mark (Jo) of New Richland; Cindy (Joe) Forrer of Rochester; and Roger (Linette) of Ackley, Iowa; four grandchildren: Rebecca (Randall) Vogsland of New Hope; Laura (Jeffrey) Bernard Moon of Austin, Texas; Antony and Stefan Hakim of Rochester. She is also survived by one step-granddaughter, Quinn Forrer of Los Angeles, many nieces, nephews and in-laws.
She is preceded in death by her twin sister, Bonnie Jean, her sister, Helen Niemeyer; two brothers, Robert Durfey and Frank Durfey; and her husband, John W. Bernard.
The funeral was Tuesday, July 2, at Faith United Methodist Church in Spring Valley and interment at the Chatfield Cemetery.
The family would prefer any memorials be designated to Faith United Methodist Church UMW in Spring Valley.
Hindt Funeral Home in Spring Valley was in charge of arrangements.