Bernice Ann Bissen November 14, 1925 - October 21, 2020 Bernice Ann Bissen, daughter of Joseph and Antoinette (Blum) Kenkel, was born November 14, 1925 in Earling, Iowa. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Earling. She attended St. Joseph's Catholic School, graduating with the class of 1943. After high school, Bernice worked as a housekeeper for Carl and Dewey Bisgaard until she married. On October 1, 1946, she was united in marriage to Leonard "Bud" Bissen at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Earling. They made their home in Defiance, Iowa where they raised three children Betty, Bill, and Barb. Her family always came first. Bernice enjoyed quilting with the ladies' group at the rectory every Wednesday and catching up on the local happenings. She was a hard worker and grew large gardens with many geraniums and other flowers. She also canned all her own fruits and vegetables and loved sharing with others her baked goods. Bernice's faith was very important to her and she was always known for being sweet, generous and kind. Bernice died on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa, attaining the age of ninety-four years, eleven months and seven days. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Bud Bissen, and siblings Fr. Ben Kenkel, Sr. Kathleen Kenkel, Germaine Staley, and Bob Kenkel. She is survived by her children Betty and her husband Gail Foxhoven of Earling, Iowa; Bill Bissen of Defiance, Iowa; Barb Doran of Dallas, Texas; grandchildren Tammy and her husband Greg Bladt of Harlan, Iowa; Ann and her husband Justin Conrad of Harlan; John Foxhoven of Omaha, Nebraska; Marcus Doran and his wife Lindsey of Lantana, Texas; Rachel and her husband Craig Newman of Montgomery, Texas; Alison Doran and her friend Eric Piontek of Jacksonville, Florida; great grandchildren Drew, Haley, Alex and Aiden Bladt; Lily Conrad; Emerson and Avery Doran; Annette, Otto and Isa Newman; siblings Elaine Staley of Denison, Iowa; Joe Ray Kenkel and his wife Loretta of Earling, Iowa; George Kenkel and his wife Bonnie of Harlan; nieces and nephews; other family members and friends. A 2:00 PM Private Family Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Rev. Dan Gehler on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Defiance, Iowa. John Foxhoven, Marcus Doran, Drew Bladt, Alex Bladt, Aiden Bladt, and Allen Staley served as casket bearers. Interment was held at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Defiance, Iowa. Pauley Jones Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangement.
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Published by Denison Bulletin Review on Oct. 30, 2020.