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Bernice Lois Langeland

December 25, 1926 - November 21, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitations


Saturday, November 25, 2017
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions

Sunday, November 26, 2017
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
Westend Christian Reformed Church
1015 Westend NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Services


Sunday, November 26, 2017
3:00 PM EST
Westend Christian Reformed Church
1015 Westend NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

West Side Christian School Foundation
955 Westend Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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All who knew Bernice Langeland would agree that no one who met her left unchanged. She was gracious and kindhearted, with a warm and genuine personality that drew others near with ease. There was no greater gift in Bernice’s life than her family, as she was happiest when surrounded by the ones she loved. A woman of faith, her life was an inspiration to everyone she met. Although Bernice will be deeply missed, her family finds comfort in knowing that she is enjoying perfect peace in her eternal home.

The 1920s were an exciting time in America, and the days were primarily prosperous ones. Innovation was leading the way to things like refrigerators, radios, and cars that were more affordable as they were mass produced on assembly lines. It was as the Christmas season approached in 1926 that Ralph and Jeanette (Voshel) Fennema were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby. They were surprised with a special Christmas gift, as it was on December 25th that the baby girl they named Bernice Lois drew her first breath in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was one of two children as she was raised in the family home at 1220 Arianna NW, alongside her brother, Dale. A lifelong WestSider, Bernice and her family attended Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church. To support their family, her father worked at a local factory, Wolverine Brass Company, while her mother worked at Brooks Candy Company and was also a homemaker. Bernice attended West Side Christian School and graduated from Central Christian High School. She was born with hip problems and was in a body cast for a year around the age of two. Hip issues would continue to plague her for the rest of her life. As a girl she loved her dog, Skippy. As a young woman, Bernice took a job with JA Bestman Produce and remained there for several years.

Not to be forgotten during Bernice’s years as a young woman, was her introduction to the man of her dreams. His name was Charles Langeland, and they met through a friend. They dated for a few years, fell in love, and were married on March 16, 1950, at Kleise Chapel in Grand Rapids, by Rev. Sam VanderJagt. Their guests then enjoyed a reception at Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church. For their honeymoon, the newlyweds drove their Pontiac to Daytona Beach, Florida. During their life together, they welcomed six children including Karen, Scott, Julie, Dan, Nan, and Becky into their hearts and home.

There was never any greater gift in Bernice’s life than her family. She was very involved in her children’s lives including being there for all their events and activities. Bernice was also involved in the PTA at school as well as all their school bazaars. As a family they looked forward to vacations camping in the pop-up camper. They went to Gun Lake every year for two weeks with friends and church members, but they also went to Maine, the Smokey Mountains, Niagara Falls, and many more places. Around home Bernice loved to bake cookies, brownies, and all kinds of things, and she often shared her sweet treats with just about anyone she met. Together she and Chuck traveled extensively later in life as their travels took them to places like the Holy Land, Europe, Mexico, and on several cruises. They and their friends from Alpine took mission trips, to Puerto Rico through Berean Bible Church. These were life-changing experiences for both Bernice and Chuck.

Bernice was known for being very caring and concerned for others, which kept her very busy. She was very involved in caring for widows throughout the community, often taking them to appointments, shopping, running their errands, helping them pay bills and prepare meals, or whatever was needed. Warm and outgoing, Bernice was a lover of people who felt compelled to talk to others, such as when she was at a restaurant and saw someone sitting alone. She was involved in church activities like the Mary Martha Guild. For 70 years, Bernice met with some of her high school classmates every month, and she and Chuck also met with a group of friends every Tuesday at Mr. Burger. Bernice loved being with her grandchildren and was there for all their events and activities. Bernice also babysat for them. Christmas was at their house every year, and she always went above and beyond. There was a “fish pond” for the little ones when they went into the bathroom, threw a fish pole over the shower curtain, and received a prize that Bernice or Chuck had attached. This family tradition continues to this day. In her free time, Bernice collected buttons from old clothing and put them in a button box. She also sewed and mended clothes and darned socks. Bernice also enjoyed watching baseball.

Life became more difficult for Bernice and her loved ones when she developed dementia eight years ago. As it progressed over the years, Chuck and her family tenderly cared for her in her home. She was placed under hospice care a week ago, and it was with her family by her side that Bernice drew her last breath.

With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Bernice had a wonderful sense of humor and a servant’s heart that beat to love and serve others. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, she was the rock of her family who made even the ordinary experiences extraordinary. Blessed with the gift of gab, Bernice was a stranger to none and a genuine friend to all. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.

Bernice L. Langeland, aged 90, of Grand Rapids, went to be with her Lord on Tuesday morning, November 21, 2017, with her loving family at her side. She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Chuck Langeland; her children, Karen Langeland, Scott (Brenda) Langeland, Julie (Kim) Howe, Dan (Joan) Langeland, Nan (Dale) Meunier, Becky (Bob) Katsma; her 14 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her brother, Dale Fennema. Bernice was a loving and dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and a friend to all who knew her. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered. A service to celebrate Bernice’s life will be held on Sunday, November 26, 2017, at 3:00 PM, at Westend Christian Reformed Church, 1015 Westend NW with Rev. Kory Plockmeyer officiating. Relatives and friends may meet her family on Saturday, Nov. 25 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Heritage Lifestory Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW and again at the church on Sunday from 2:00 PM until the service begins at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Westside Christian School Foundation or Faith Hospice.To read more about Bernice’s life, to sign her guest book, or to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com.

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