Bernice Madsen, age 91, of Graceville, MN, passed away on September 5, 2019, at Grace Home.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 13, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Johnson, MN. Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 12, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mundwiler and Larson Funeral Home in Graceville with a prayer service beginning at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday and burial will be at Graceville Consolidated Cemetery.
Bernice Arlene Madsen was born on September 7, 1927, at home in Traverse County, MN, to Walter and Antonia (Fischer) Zimmerman. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Johnson, MN. She attended country school and later, West Central School of Agriculture in Morris, MN, where she graduated from high school in 1944. She was united in marriage with Elmer Madsen on December 17, 1947, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Johnson, MN. The couple lived in Chokio, MN, and then Graceville, MN, where they raised their four daughters: Susan, Christine, Cindy, and Jill. Bernice did the bookkeeping for Elmer’s businesses: Standard Oil Station, Madsen School Bus Service, and Graceville Golf Cars. In their empty nest years, the couple enjoyed delivering flowers for many years for daughter’s business, Jill’s Flower Box, until their health prevented them from doing so.
Bernice took great pride in her family and her home. She was an immaculate housekeeper and loved to tend to her flowers and vegetable garden canning, freezing, and sharing her produce. She was especially gifted in the kitchen, believing a good meal should be followed by dessert. Her homemade bread, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, and caramel rolls were baked each week and enjoyed by her family. Her passion was sewing clothes for her daughters and herself. She also sewed her daughters’ wedding dresses, veils and bridesmaid dresses. In her later years she took up quilting and doing fine hand sewing. Bernice was a member of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and was active with the Altar Guild and the church women. She was a 60-year member of the Graceville Legion Auxiliary and through the years donated eight gallons of blood through the local bloodmobile. She had a beautiful soprano voice and sang in the church and community choirs for many years. The Madsen home was always filled with music.
The family enjoyed many camping trips and liked canoeing on Toqua Lake. Bernice and Elmer were part of a local bowling league and the Graceville Stump Jumpers Snowmobile Club. They were avid snowmobilers, making many trips around Minnesota, and as far as Yellowstone. They also loved the trips they took to warm weather climates with friends and relatives including Hawaii, a Caribbean Cruise, and many trips to Florida and Texas. Walking and biking were a daily routine. While doing so, Bernice and Elmer picked up cans and bottles to help keep the community clean. At some time in each of her grandchildren’s lives, they all lived in Graceville, so there was deep bonding that took place.
Bernice is survived by her four daughters: Susan Townsend, Pipestone, MN; Christine (Fritz) Wulff, Liberty, TX; Cindy (David) Taffe, Morris, MN; and Jill (Rick) Hennessy, Graceville, MN; grandchildren: Robb (Toni) Townsend, Matthew (LeRisa) Townsend, Andrew Townsend; Sarah (John) Gallander, Erika Tolar, Emily (Mike) Doyle; Amanda (Aaron) Blom, Lacey (Greg) Veenendaal, Bryan (Becky) Taffe; Joshua (Lisa) Hennessy, Justin Hennessy, Rhonda Hennessy, Jordon (Brietta) Hennessy; great- grandchildren: Dylan, Brady and Dominic Townsend; Mason and Maddox Townsend; Seth, Eva and Kira Gallander; Gavin Tolar; Micah, Bryce and Olivia Doyle; Kiya and Hayden Blom; Liam, Eliana and Rowan Veenendaal; Lucia, Jameson and Josephine Taffe; Andrew and Tessa Hennessy; Gunner and Tucker Hennessy; Isaac Ebnet; Makaya, Logan and Bryson Hennessy; sister-in-law, Jean Zimbrick of Graceville, MN; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Elmer in 2008; her parents; sisters: Virginia Curtis, Irene Duin, Isabelle Vader, Arlys O’Connor, Judi Gregory and brothers: Ivan and Kenneth Zimmerman.