December 10, 1923-January 26, 2014
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Bera departed this earth on Sunday morning, January 26. A native of Southern Alabama, she never lost her southern charm and sincerity. She embraced life and loved people.
She raised her children Ray, Charlotte and Linda on the Swanson family ranch near Hanford, California and throughout the 1950's, 60's and 70's remained very active in her community most notably with the Kings County Cultural Committee and Art League.
She donated her time and efforts through fundraising to help secure the life-size sculpture entitled "family of man" by internationally known sculptor Clement Renzi. The sculpture was dedicated in 1986 at the Kings County Government Center.
She will long be remembered for her civic-minded spirit during the late 1970's in helping to save the original Hanford Courthouse built in 1896 from the wrecking ball. Hanford's well known Courthouse Square with the Bastille remains an important part of Hanford life.
She is also being remembered for her incredible giftedness as a multi-media artist including portraiture, water color and sculpturing to name a few. Her love of God and creation was evident in her inspirational artwork.
She moved to Fresno in 1987 to be near her daughter and grandchildren. She lived independently up until November of 2013. Well into her late 80's she would work from dawn to dusk enjoying her large garden and home. Always forward thinking, she embraced drought tolerant landscaping and enjoyed sculpting dry creek beds.
She was preceded in death by her daughter Charlotte in 1985, and three brothers and three sisters. She is survived by her sister, Johnnie Davis of Dothan Alabama and a host of nieces, nephews and loved ones in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
She is survived by her children, Ray Swanson [daughter-in-law Faye], and her daughter, Linda Swanson Motte [son-in-law Joe]. Also surviving are her beloved grandchildren Erika, Charles and Miles Swanson in Northern California, Elizabeth Perry in Atlanta, Georgia and Brittany Motte Conrad[Jason] in Clovis and Taylor Motte in Fresno.
Her family always came first, especially her children and grandchildren, and for that we will always be eternally grateful for her devotion to us. It will never be forgotten, God Bless you Mom.
A Private Memorial has been planned.
Published in The Hanford Sentinel on Feb. 8, 2014