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Donaldeen (Don) McNeill Bera


1926 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Donaldeen (Don) McNeill Bera Obituary
Donaldeen (Don) McNeill Bera Feb. 16, 1926 - Dec. 17, 2017 With sadness and appreciation of a long, well-lived life, the family of Donaldeen (Don) McNeill Bera announces her passing at Nazareth Rose Garden in Napa, CA on Dec. 17. She was 91 years old. A graduate of San Jose State College and Mills College, Don danced hundreds of miles backwards at the USO during World War II with soldiers being deployed for overseas service. She continued dancing for another 45 years with her husband, Joe Bera. For nearly 40 years she taught elementary school in the Vallejo Unified School District, teaching hundreds of students not just math and geography, but how to reach their potential, believe in themselves and their abilities. Don was a member of multiple bridge groups (one group spanning over 60 years), the American Association of University Women, and Lemonaides, a performing folk dancing troupe. In her decades of active membership in the College Women's Club, she served in most all officer roles and on the Scholarship Committee. During Don's retirement she was a docent for the Mare Island Historical Society, and was recognized by Kaiser Hospital in Vallejo for more than 1,000 hours of volunteer work. Among Donaldeen's many joys in life were teaching and being a mother. She raised five strong, independent children with love, a firm hand, and a loud voice when necessary. She instilled her values of love of family, commitment to family and friends, and the thrill of exploration and travel. Visiting with her children and grandchildren was a major delight to her, as was traveling domestically and internationally. For her 80th and 90th birthdays, she treated all five of her children and spouses to Caribbean cruises. Donaldeen was born to Frances Rozier McNeill and Louis Jake McNeill in San Jose, CA, on Feb. 16, 1926. She is predeceased by her husband, Joe Bera; parents, Frances and Louis McNeill, and sister, Nadine Thomas. Don will be the subject of many family stories and will be fondly remembered by her children, Al (Mary) Bera of Napa, Doug (Helga) Bera of Sacramento, Gay (Carmen Monaco) Bera of Louisville, TN, Larry (Debbie) of South Lake Tahoe, CA, and Rosalie (Dave) Mayo of Plano, TX; plus eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A celebration of life service is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m., at Grace Church of Napa Valley, 3765 Solano Ave., Napa (707-255-4033). The family will host a remembrance gathering at the church following the service. Private internment of her ashes will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be donated in Donaldeen Bera's name to the or to Angleman Syndrome Foundation, 75 Executive Drive, Suite 327, Aurora IL 60504. (info@angelman.org), in honor of Colton Bera.
Published in The Reporter from Jan. 14 to Feb. 17, 2018
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