Bernice L. Wilkins Meinke, 87, Erie, died Sunday, August 17, 2008, at Hillside Village Nursing Home, DeSoto.
She was born Oct. 30, 1920, at Urbana to Chris and Vera Hobson Stanley and grew up in Erie. She graduated from Erie High School and attended Parsons Junior College. After a year of college, she obtained a lifetime teacher’s certificate and returned to Erie to teach in a one-room school, the No. 8 school two miles north of Erie. In later years she returned to college and received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
She taught elementary school in many communities, including Chanute and Altoona-Midway, and was a GED instructor at Neosho County Community College for many years.
She was a member of Erie Federated Church and served as a member of the Erie Library Board. She was a lifelong bridge player and was in many bridge clubs. She had many hobbies and activities, but loved spending time with her family the most.
On Nov. 28, 1942, she married and Paul Wilkins, Walnut, at the Federated Church in Erie. They lived in several places during their marriage. He died in January 1967. She married Melvin Meinke and they lived in Lawrence and Chanute before moving to Erie in 1980. He died July 28, 1999.
Survivors include a daughter, Paula Henderson, Edwardsville; a son and daughter-in-law, Stan and Susan Wilkins, Louisburg; a stepdaughter and her husband, Jane and Doug Kurata, Port Townsend, Wash.; a stepson, Kurt Meinke, Austin, Texas; eight grandchildren and their spouses, Chris and Jenifer Hoover, Frisco, Texas, Kyle and Christine Hoover, Charlottsville, Va., Angela and Jason Maupin, Flower Mound, Texas, Amanda Wilkins, Overland Park, Paul Wilkins, St. Joseph, Mo., Marika and Jacob Montgomery, Seattle, Wash., Alex Kurata, Port Townsend, Wash., and Drew Kurata, Seattle, Wash.; six great-grandsons, Jackson and Drew Maupin, Flower Mound, Texas, Kyle Hoover, Frisco, Texas, and Will, Reece and Luke Hoover, Charlottsville, Va.; and a brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Rose Stanley, Chanute.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, Leon and Lyle Stanley; and a granddaughter, Amber Wilkins.
Funeral will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Erie Federated Church with the Rev. Larry Jordan officiating. Burial will be in East Hill Cemetery under the direction of Pierce-Carson-Wall Funeral Home, Erie.
The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home where Mrs. Meinke will lie in state after 1 p.m.
Contributions to Erie Federated Church or Erie Public Library may be made in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 182, Erie, KS 66733.