Bernadene Mary Clemens (Bernie), beautiful Irish wife, mother and grandmother, died Sunday, June 29, 2014 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. She was born September 9, 1924 to Patrick and Mae Raftis and grew up in Wadena, IA where she graduated from high school. She continued her education at Clark College in Dubuque before graduating from the University of Iowa. Following graduation, Bernadene developed her love of travel as she spent the next twelve years flying as a stewardess for United Airlines.
In 1957, Bernadene and Dr. Albert Louis Clemens were married in Los Angeles, CA and then moved to Des Moines where Albert established his practice as a surgeon, eventually becoming Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff at Mercy Medical Center. Bernadene devoted herself to making a home for her husband and two sons, Robert and Dennis. She was a member of St. Augustin Catholic Church. She enjoyed reading, painting, taking classes at Drake University, travel and family activities, especially at her lake home in northern Minnesota.
Bernadene was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Albert Clemens (2009); her son, Robert Louis Clemens; and two brothers, The Rev. Duane Raftis and J. D. Raftis. Those left to cherish Bernadene's memory include her son, Dennis Patrick Clemens, and his wife, Liz of Des Moines; and two grandsons, Samuel Patrick Clemens and Ryan Lee Clemens.
Private family services were held Thursday, July 3, 2014. Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Augustin Catholic Church.
Iles Funeral Home - Dunn's Chapel
2121 Grand Ave Des Moines, IA 50312
Published in Des Moines Register on July 4, 2014