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Bernice Simmelink

Bernice Simmelink Obituary

Bernice Marie Simmelink, 95, of Jenkins Twp., died Friday at United Methodist Homes, Wesley Village Campus retirement community in Pittston. She was the wife of Glen Herbert Simmelink, who preceded her in death on Nov. 2, 2017.

Born in Scranton, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Bronislaw and Josephine (Zieminski) Cierkowski. Bernice had a loving, yet demanding childhood growing up in South Side Scranton with her late siblings, brother, Stanley; and three sisters, Wanda, Connie and Alice. She was so proud to be a coal miner's daughter. Her father, "Pop," walking home after working in the mines, often surprised her with a small trinket or treat from his lunch box. On weekends, Pop and the kids would hike up to Lake Scranton to pick mushrooms and huckleberries. The family would all chip in and help their "Mom" cook up traditional Polish dishes, kielbasa, golumpki and pierogis and top it off with treats from Kaltenbach's Bakery. Bernice left high school without graduating, to work in a textile lab, to help support the family. Many years later, she proudly earned her GED high school equivalency certificate.

Bernice met Glen on a blind date while he was on leave from Navy service during World War II. After only three dates, Glen sent a letter to Bernice and proposed from his overseas post in Guam. They were married on June 29, 1946. Bernice and Glen celebrated 71 loving years and anniversaries together. They were partners in life, a team. They built homes and they created a busy and nurturing home life for themselves and their children.

Bernice was hands-on. Glen was a carpenter, built their houses and Bernice painted the woodwork, hung wallpaper, decorated inside and planted lush flower gardens. The home they built together in Blairstown, N.J., was her pride and joy. Bernice loved to cook and bake for family gatherings.

She was a tireless homemaker, tending to the kids' extracurricular activities, and was always there with a helping hand for family and friends in their time of need. Bernice was curious and talented. She loved crafts and was very accomplished at sewing, knitting, crochet, making hooked rugs, watercolor painting, refinishing furniture and even spinning wool. She loved to listen to popular music, Andy Williams, Robert Goulet, Josh Groban, and would sing along when she thought no one was listening.

Bernice and Glen retired to Spring Brook Twp., Pa., bought just the right house, built a screened porch, planted more flower gardens and enjoyed summer evenings relaxing, reading and cooking, surrounded by nature and wildlife. Bernice became an extraordinary caregiver for Glen while he recovered from serious health issues. After they moved into the Wesley Village retirement community in Pittston, Glen became a loving and devoted caregiver for Bernice as she suffered her own serious health setbacks. As their health and aging struggles became more pronounced, Bernice required skilled nursing care and Glen became a resident in the assisted living facility just down the hallway. Bernice beamed with delight at seeing her husband, Glen, roll into her room in his power wheelchair to visit every day, like clockwork. They were in love.

Bernice is survived by her children, Doris Simmelink and her husband, Chris Sukimoto, of Ventura, California; and Glen Simmelink and his wife, Carol Goss, of Olympia, Washington; and her grandson, Jack Sukimoto.

Cremation and interment will be private and are entrusted to Brian Arthur Strauch Funeral Homes & Cremation Services LLC, Spring Brook Twp.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to your local volunteer fire department, first responders or food bank. To share your fondest memories of Bernice, visit the funeral home website or Facebook page.


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