Bernette Isaak Gratton

  • "Sorry to hear about your mom. She always made me feel at..."
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  • "Forever in our hearts, mother dear. Thank you for lighting..."
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Bernette Isaak Gratton
1923 ~ 2013
Bernette Isaak Gratton, 90, Garden City, ID, died Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 in Boise. Born in 1923 in Kulm, North Dakota, Bert was the 5th of six children of prominent pioneer parents, Otto and Otilia Isaak. In 1933, the family moved to Fargo, ND, where she was raised.
After graduating from Fargo High School in 1941, she attended North Dakota State University for two years then transferred to the University of Minnesota where she received her B.A. degree with a double major in art and fine arts in 1945. She was a member of both Alpha Omicron and Kappa chapters of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and the national honorary art fraternity, Delta Phi Delta.
Following graduation, she worked as a fashion illustrator and later as Catalog Fashion Coordinator in the advertising department of a large Minneapolis-based firm.
In 1947, she married Bernard Gratton in Fargo and settled in his hometown of Emmett, ID, where their three children were born and raised. In 1978, they moved to Boise and later divorced.
Bert pursued her love of art through post-graduate work at Boise State University, studying sculpture and painting. She was a very creative and talented artist, accomplished designer, and seamstress. She was a private person with a great sense of humor. Her greatest joy was being a mother and grandmother.
She enjoyed meeting new friends and walking with the "Happy Hoofers" and "Ecumaniacs." She loved music, listening to jazz, especially pianist Gene Harris at the Idanha Hotel in Boise and singing with the "Footnotes" group at numerous retirement centers.
She was a member of the Boise Art Museum, the Gamma Phi Beta Alumnae, the American Association of University Women, University of Minnesota Alumni, and a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. She was an avid dog lover, and counted her 1969 Jaguar XKE among her "pets." A night-owl, she was a fan of Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, LeMar; and sister, Hazel. She is survived by her son, Jim (Judy) Gratton, Bothell, WA; her daughters, Ann (Mark) Heilman, Boise, ID, and Jean (Chuck) Van Court, Bellevue, WA; 6 grandchildren—Keri Heilman, Katy Gratton, Jackie (Jerome) Dean, Skyler Gratton, Keith Van Court, and Hannah Van Court; brothers, Howard (Marion) Isaak, Mason City, IA and Dr. James Oliver, Moorhead, MN; and sister, June Lauer, Alexander City, AL; and beloved dog, Charlie.
A private, family memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in her honor can be made to the Northshore Wranglers, the Bothell Washington Special Olympics (, Learning Lab ( or Boise Art Museum (
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Bernette's memorial webpage at

Funeral Home
Summers Funeral Home - Boise Chapel
1205 West Bannock Street Boise, ID 83702
(208) 343-6493
Funeral Home Details
Published in Idaho Statesman from Dec. 25 to Dec. 29, 2013
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