ASHTABULA — Bernice D. Altonen, 101, passed away Friday, November 23, 2012 at her home.
She was born March 7, 1911 in Ashtabula, the daughter of Ira A. and Grace P. (Sweet) Reed and had been a lifelong Ashtabula resident.
A graduate of Ashtabula High School, she worked with the family business, Reed’s Dry Cleaning, and also spent several years working for Carlisle’s until her retirement in 1976.
A member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, she belonged to the St. Elizabeth’s Ladies’ Group of the church, was also a former member and board member of the Ashtabula Woman’s Club, and played in various area golf leagues. Her membership in the Sam Wharram Nature Club was one way she showed her love of nature. Bernice loved music (especially from the Big Band era) and also served as a Republican Central Committee person for Ward 4E for many years.
As his fifth great-granddaughter, she was a proud descendent of Peleg Sweet.
Her survivors include two children, Leanne Ensell Coates of Kingsville and Lynn R. (Gloria) Altonen of Oil City, PA; two grandchildren, Mark A. Ensell and Scott R. Ensell, both of Houston, TX; two great-grandchildren, Jordyn C. Ensell and Dylan S. Ensell, both of Houston, TX; granddaughter-in-law, Sylvia Ensell, step-grandchildren, Bonnie (Mike) Martin and Kyle Bailey; one niece; seven nephews; and special friends, Howard and Kathy “Hopsie” Lines, and Terry and Catherine Shaw.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William A. Altonen in 1989; two sisters, Arlene Hubbard Uitto and Norma Lukkarila; one brother, Vance G. Reed Jr.; her son-in-law, Bruce Gramley on July 23, 2009; a nephew, Vance G. Reed; and her parents.
Calling hours will be Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 10 to 11 AM in the Guild Room at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 4901 Main Avenue, Ashtabula with a service to follow in the church sanctuary at 11 AM. Canon C. David Evans will preside. Burial will be in Edgewood Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to the Living Memorial Fund of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church or to Hospice of the Western Reserve.
The family wishes to give a special thank you to her totally awesome caregivers, Joyce, Sandy, Sally, Paddy, Mary, Julie, and Beverly and the staff of Hospice of the Western Reserve.
DUCRO FUNERAL SERVICES AND CREMATORY, 4524 Elm Avenue, Ashtabula is in charge of arrangements. www.ducro.com