Cover photo for Bernice M. Barratt's Obituary
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1920 Bernice 2019

Bernice M. Barratt

November 19, 1920 — July 12, 2019

Funeral services for 98  year old Bernice M. Barratt of Manilla, formerly of Irwin will be held Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 11:00 AM at the United Methodist Church in Irwin.  Visitation after 10:00 am on Saturday, August 17 at the Church until the time of the funeral.

Bernice May (Jones) Barratt, the daughter of Ted B. Jones and Margaret Mae (Lemmon) Jones, was born on November 19, 1920, on a homestead near Gage, Montana. In 1930, the Jones family returned to Iowa so her father could assume management of her mother’s family farm, the Jacob Wright Farm, near Audubon. 

Bernice was an excellent student, a dedicated educator, and a life-long learner. She attended Grades 1 - 4 at the Gage (Montana) Country School and Audubon (Iowa) Schools from the 5th grade through her high school graduation. 

To support the soldiers serving in World War II – including her two brothers - Bernice became a real “Rosie the Riveter.” From 1941- 1943, she worked in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at a plant that manufactured airplanes to support the war effort. Her job was to install radios and place antennas in B-17 bombers. Like her brothers, she made significant contributions for a successful outcome to the war.

Bernice began her career in education by teaching 7th and 8th grades in Kirkman, Iowa, for two years. She later pursued and earned her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Education at Cedar Falls Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa). During her 46 years of teaching, she taught in classrooms and later, served as the elementary school principal in Irwin, Iowa. She was one of the first women in Iowa to serve as a school principal. Her special advice to others was always “Be sure you get a good education!”

Bernice met her husband, Ronald (Duane) Barratt, when she served as the chaperone for the Irwin basketball games. They were married on August 20, 1950, at the Methodist Church in Audubon, Iowa. They honeymooned at Park Rapids, Minnesota.

In 1955, Duane and Bernice proudly welcomed their daughter, Gail Marie, to the family. They watched her learn to dance, nurtured her love of music, and supported her in every way as she grew up. During Gail’s youth, the Barratts returned annually to the same area in Minnesota where they spent their honeymoon.  Their resort destination of choice was Belle Shore Acres on Lake Belle Taine. The entire family loved fishing, weekly potluck fish fry, water sports, lively card games and time with friends – old and new - at the lake. They also enjoyed travels to visit family in beautiful eastern Oregon and made stops to see family and friends throughout the United States over the years.

Bernice was an active member of her community. She was a member of the Irwin Methodist Church, Library Club, and many more church and civic organizations. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, traveling, reading, working in the library, and playing cards.

For the last several years, Bernice made her home at the Manilla Manor in Manilla, Iowa.

Bernice was preceded in death by her husband, Duane, and her siblings:
Floyd Jones of Audubon, Iowa; Boyd Jones of Pendleton, Oregon; Doris Bonnalyn Jones (Age 2) buried in Gage, Montana; Fauntella Rutherford of Elgin, Oregon; and Audrey Jensen of Audubon, Iowa.

She was also preceded in death by two nieces and a nephew: Margaret Ann (Jones) Meads, Karen (Jensen) Nelson and Alan Rutherford.

Bernice is survived by her daughter, Gail Burke, of Omaha, Nebraska; many nieces and nephews, as well as grand-nieces and grand-nephews.  She is also survived by former students, colleagues and friends of all ages.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bernice M. Barratt, please visit our flower store.


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