Bernice Irene Holley 1923-2012

Posted October 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Bernice Irene Holley 1923-2012

Bernice Holley, 89, of Miller, S.D., died Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 at the Good Samaritan Society of Miller.

Funeral services were held Monday, Oct. 15, at the First Presbyterian Church, Miller with the Rev. Brian Jones officiating. Burial followed at Hillcrest Cemetery, Miller.

Bernice was born September 19, 1923 to Kristian and Kristina (Olson) Johnson in Pukwana, S.D. She attended country school near her home nine miles southeast of Kimball, S.D. She graduated from Pukwana High School and was the first of her family to earn a high school diploma.

She bravely took the train to California when her sister needed help raising twin babies. It was in California where she met Don Holley, a sailor on liberty at a dance. And the rest, you could say, is history.

She and Don were married June 25, 1946 in San Francisco, Calif. They took a bus back to the Midwest. They lived in Miller while Don helped build the Miller Hospital. They then moved to south Hand County where Bernice worked at the Ames Store. She and Don enjoyed the Pleasant Valley and Justa Hall dances. Work took Don and Bernice to Wells, Minn., where Don helped built another hospital and they made many new friends. They returned to Hand County and Bernice started working at Mann’s Hotel and Silver Grill in 1963. She continued her employment there through several owners until her retirement in 1992 (29 years).

She was a loving wife, devoted mother and proud grandmother of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband, Don Holley of Miller; three daughters: Donna (Tom) Cotton of Valley Springs, Kathy (Dennis) Harvey of Wolsey, and Vicki Holley of Aberdeen; one son: Dan (Sherry Nolan) Holley of Minneapolis, Minn.; nine grandchildren: Kristi Butler, Kandi Heal, Cory Harvey, Chad Harvey, Tami Melendez, Toby Harvey, Jill Knudsen, Kelly Hess and Drew Danburg; 26 great-grandchildren: Branden Butler, Blake Butler, Bryce Butler, Wyatt Heal, Colton Heal, Juliene Knudsen, Izabella Erickson, Landon Danburg, Ava Danburg, Grace Danburg, Brandon Hess, Hailey Melendez, Anthony Melendez, Dylan Harvey, Dakota Harvey, Kayla Hash, Kaitlin Schmitt, Keisha Schmitt, Kaelub Grubb, Karlie Harvey, Taryn Harvey, Dawson Harvey, Logan Harvey, Mackenzie Harvey, Brittany Harvey, and Joshua Harvey; two sisters, Alice Campbell of Miller and Eleanor Shadi of Conrad, Calif.; and one niece, Dorothy Campbell.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers: Trygve Johnson and Ingeveld Johnson; and five sisters, Elizabeth Shumaker, Bertha Patterson, Clara Reid, Carrie McKenzie Chester, and Edith Wilson.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Bernice’s arrangements. Visit