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God gained a beautiful soul and angel on April 8, 2019. Bernice Frances Widman Pavelek, 99, passed away at her home surrounded by family with her son Steven at her side, in St. Helens, OR. A traditional graveside service will be held May 1, 2019~11 am at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Baker City, Oregon. Friends are invited to join the family for a gathering following the service at the Veterans Memorial Club in Baker City.
Bernice was born March 19, 1920 in Baker County, at Little Look Out Mountain to John and Dollie Widman. She was raised on the land that had been homesteaded by her grandparents back in 1864 during the Homestead Act of Oregon. She was named after Bernice Phillips Staggs whom her parents knew at Look Out Mountain.
As a child she attended a one room school house in the summer months. Bernice loved helping her Mom with flowerbeds in front of the big white house. Her love of flowers was later reflected in her yards as an adult. Bernice also talked about playing in the field, haying and helping with the cooking for the men during hay season at the big red barn.
When she was 19 Bernice moved Baker City and got a job as a telephone operator which she thoroughly enjoyed. While in town she met the love of her life Antone Pavelek, otherwise known as Andy. They married in 1947 and had two children Linda and Steven whom Bernice put her heart and soul into raising. Due to Andy's job they moved to St. Helens OR which would be their home for over 40 years. Andy would build houses and Bernice would help stage and decorate them for sale.
Bernice loved to tell stories of her childhood on the Widman Ranch. You could watch her face light up and see the twinkle in her eyes as she recalled memories. She cherished camping with family, fishing, being a wife and homemaker. She also made a point to do volunteer work. Bernice spent many hours at St. Frederic Catholic Church in the library and Catholic School.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Andy Pavelek; daughter Linda Pavelek; brother William Widman; nephew William J. Widman; Tim and Ken Pavelek
Bernice is survived by her son Steven Pavelek; numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
For those who would like to make a donation in memory of Bernice the family suggests Baker County FFA through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences can be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com