Bernice W. DeHaas (1925 - 2012)

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  • "Bernice was such a fine person with so much wit and wisdom...."
    - Ken and Donna McCulloch
  • "We were neighbor's of John and Bernice on South Tracy..."
    - Joan Montagne
  • "I delivered books to Bernice from the Bozeman Library when..."
    - Charlene Owens
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Bernice W. DeHaas (nee Carrie Bernice Wallace) passed away serenely on April 4, 2013. On April 11, 1925, she was born to Frank E. and Mary Marvel Wallace in Benbrook, Texas. Bernice attended Southwestern University, from which graduated with a Bachelor's degree – magna cum laude – in chemistry in 1945. She worked at several laboratories before returning to university to pursue her Master's degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Bernice returned to Texas after she earned her master's in 1949 and began working at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. There, friends arranged a blind date for her with John N. DeHaas, Jr. They were married in December of 1950, starting a partnership that lasted more than 60 years. John accepted a one-year teaching position at Montana State College (which later became Montana State University) in 1951. John accepted a tenure-track teaching position at Montana State College the next year. Bernice began working as a research chemist for the college. They welcomed a son, Ken, and later a daughter, Jocelyn, into their family. For the next ten years, Bernice did not work outside the home. She was active in her children's education and imparted to them a love of reading and of learning. In 1969 she returned to work part-time at MSU for Dr. Ken Goering for whom she worked for until 1984.

Bernice loved to read and traveling. Family trips included frequent trips Texas and Florida to visit relatives, and they traveled twice to Europe. After the children were grown, John and Bernice traveled extensively visiting friends and relatives in the U.S. as well as going to Puerto Rico, Alaska and Taiwan. Bernice was an avid bridge player. Her bridge group was started in 1982 and continues today. Bernice was also very involved in the United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women and Church Women United. In later years, John and Bernice moved into the Bozeman Lodge where they made many friends. Bernice was truly loved and admired by all who knew her for her kind and loving nature.

Bernice is preceded in death by her husband John, brother Frank Jr., and her parents. Surviving her are her son, Ken, and daughter, Jocelyn. She also leaves her sister-in-law Toots (Evelyn) Wallace, niece Nancy Hollingsworth, nephew Mark Wallace and cousins Nellrene Harting and Mary Elizabeth Layne.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10 at Bozeman United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Pioneer Museum, 317 West Main, Bozeman, MT 59715, or the Bozeman Public Library Foundation, P.O. Box 242, Bozeman, MT 59771.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. Full obit at

Funeral Home
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-3184
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 7, 2013
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