Bernice Amelia (Ruder) Unrein, age 92, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 17, 2021, in Overland Park, KS.
Bernice was born August 3, 1928, in Hays, KS, to Carl and Rosa (Rupp) Ruder and delivered by her future father-in-law, Dr. Gerard Unrein. Bernice grew up on the family farm south of Hays and her parents eventually moved to town when she was in high school. She graduated from Girls Catholic High School in 1946 and worked as a telephone operator until her first child was born.
Bernice met the love of her life, Francis Alfred Unrein, in high school and they were married on June 7, 1948, in Hays. They were happily married for 69 years until Francis’ death in 2017. To this union brought four children Keith (Sandy), Overland Park, Marybeth (Warren) Harwick, Ft. Worth, TX, Kevin (Jyl) Chanute, and Robin (David) Hagedorn, Mission.
Upon Francis’ graduation from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, job opportunities in Norton and Oakley brought Francis and Bernice back to North Central Kansas and eventually Francis purchased his own store, Unrein Drug Store, in Plainville, KS, their home for the next 59 years. Francis and Bernice owned and operated the drugstore until Francis’ retirement in 1991.
Throughout her life, Bernice was an active member of the Rooks County Health Center Auxiliary, volunteering in the gift shop, Sacred Heart Catholic Parish, and later Curè of Ars Catholic Church in Leawood. She was a devoted wife to Francis and mourned his loss every day. She loved being a mother but her role as a grandmother and great grandmother brought her the most joy. Bernice also enjoyed cooking, gardening, close friendships, hosting family get-togethers, embroidery, knitting, and making sure everyone had something to eat or drink (even in her final days.) You could often find Bernice and Francis on the golf course, relaxing on their patio, and watching the KU Jayhawks and golf on tv. Bernice loved and defended fiercely those close to her. With perseverance, she survived breast cancer, a stroke, moving to Kansas City in her 80s and embracing life after Francis’ death. She had a beautiful smile, joyful laugh, rosy cheeks and great hair. She loved her family, her faith and friends, but nothing compared to the love she had for Francis.
Bernice was proceeded in death by her parents, husband, Francis, brothers Marcellus, Alphonse, Julius and Norman, sisters Irene Munsch, Mary Rose Dreiling, and Alma Keaton, and son-in-law, Alan McClure. She is survived by her sister, Lorraine Arnold Cook of Denver, CO; her four children and spouses, and many extended relatives. Bernice was a loving “Mimi” to her grandchildren Lindsay (Jonathan) McPhail, Fairway, Kelly (Drew) Nicholls, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, and Spencer McClure (Erin Horn), Ft. Worth, TX. She was also the proud “Great Mimi” of great grandsons, Kai and Keiran McPhail, and great granddaughter, Astrid McClure.
Visitation will be at Curè of Ars Catholic Church, 9401 Mission Road, Leawood, Kansas 66206, on Tuesday August 3, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., followed by a rosary at 10:45 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m. YouTube Livestream link: www.cureofars.com/funeral can be found on the day of the funeral. Graveside burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Hays on Wednesday August 4, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Curè of Ars Homebound and Nursing Home Ministries. Condolences may be sent in care of Signature Funerals 406D E. Bannister Rd. Kansas City, Mo. 64131. 816-214-5174. www.cathyb6.sg-host.com.