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Bernace Kerwin


Bernace A. Kerwin, 97, of Oskaloosa died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at Oskaloosa Care Center in Oskaloosa.

She was born July 10, 1921, in Seymour, the daughter of Percy Hughes and Lucy Thomas Hughes. In 1934, she accepted Christ as her Savior, and from that time on she devoted her life to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She graduated from a charter high school in Chicago in 1939. Following high school, she did clerical work. She also attended Moody Bible College.

She was united in marriage to Edwin Daniel Kerwin on March 22, 1941, in Chicago, Illinois. Edwin died March 20, 2007. Bernace spent time working in Chicago for a detective. Bernace was an excellent typist and spent most of her working life as a secretary at various places including Mahaska Hospital, Clow Valve Company and Gospel Tabernacle in Oskaloosa. She also worked as an assistant activity director for Seymour Care Center for many years.

Bernace volunteered for Meals on Wheels. Bernace was always active in her church; she was the church organist and pianist and helped with the Awanis Club. While living in Oskaloosa, she attended Gospel Tabernacle, now known as Fellowship Bible Church in Oskaloosa. She also taught child evangelism in the family home of Steve Bell in Oskaloosa for many years. Serving the Lord and raising her family where her two greatest joys in life.  

Her family includes her two children, Sharon (F. Richard) Gygi of Nebraska City, Nebraska, and John Kerwin of Osceola; six grandchildren, Peter Gygi, Phillip (Maureen) Gygi, Danielle (Jake) Kraehling, Carley Kerwin, Caleb Kerwin and Cole Kerwin; four great-grandchildren, Theresa and Sarah Gygi and Harrison and Lucy Kraehling; one step-grandson Eric Bertrand; one sister Reva Anderson of Davenport; and many nieces and nephews.

Bernace was preceded in death by her parents; husband Edwin Kerwin; a daughter in infancy Linda Lou; four brothers, Jack, Bert, Tom and Keith Hughes; and two sisters, Iris Merritt and Lela Hughes.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Bates Funeral Chapel, 114 S. Seventh St., in Oskaloosa with Reverend Rodney DeRonde officiating. Private burial will be held in Southlawn Cemetery in Seymour. Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. The family will be present at the chapel from 10 to 11 a.m. service time Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Awanis program at First Baptist Church in Nebraska City, Nebraska. 

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