Mary Berneice Miller Pickard Gibbons passed away peacefully surrounded by family on 10/15/13 at Deaconess Hospice. She was born on April 27th, 1918 in Paducah KY where she was raised by Harry and Lillie Miller. During World War II she left Paducah in search of employment. Berneice moved to Evansville IN to work at Republic Aviation, proudly joining the force of "Rosie the riveters" building P47 Thunderbolts. After the war she was working at a diner when she met a dashing young man who had just returned from fighting in Europe. That young man turned out to be the love of her life, Frederick Rhein.
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Berneice was a humble, fiercely independent woman with a steadfast faith in God and she had a servant's heart. While caring for her elderly mother and raising her children, she also worked as a caregiver for a total of 46 families over the years, always putting the needs of others ahead of her own.
She and Fred had been married for 46 years when he passed away in 1992. She was also preceded in death by her parents and her young daughter Harriett Joyce.
Berneice is survived by her beloved children, sons James David Pickard Jr. (Mary Ann) of Warner Robins GA, Frederick Edmond Gibbons (Sue) of Duncan OK and Charles Leavell Gibbons of Evansville IN, and daughters Laura Alice Schelhorn (Alan) of Mt. Vernon IN, Patricia Ann King (Douglas) of Chandler IN and Mary Catherine Miller (Michael) of Evansville IN. She dearly loved her 8 grandchildren and cherished having 14 great grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. She was the heart of our family and will be deeply missed.
Services will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at Schneider Funeral Home 512 Main St. Mt. Vernon, IN with Pastor Mike Shore officiating.
Visitation will be from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm Friday, October 18, 2013 and from 12:00 pm to service time on Saturday at the funeral home.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff and residents of Cloverleaf apartments, where she lived happily for the past 2 years, and the staffs in the Deaconess Cardiac and Neuro units. Special thanks go out to Dr. Jamie Davison, who provided such excellent and tender care, John, her outstanding nurse in the Neuro unit and the gifted staff of Deaconess Hospice.
In memory of our Mother, please reach out to help those in need, and never miss an opportunity to tell your loved ones how much you care. Donations may be made to Wounded Warriors (www.woundedwarriorproject.org/Donate).
Condolences may be made online at www.schneiderfuneralhome.com.
Schneider Funeral Home - Mt. Vernon
512 Main St.
Mt. Vernon, IN 47620
Published in Mount Vernon Democrat on Oct. 23, 2013