The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Obituaries

October 23, 2013

Bernice Marie (Berkey) Ott

WINDBER — OTT – Mrs. Bernice Marie (Berkey), 89, Windber, passed away Oct. 22, 2013, at Church of the Brethren Home, Windber. Born Oct. 28, 1923, in Hillsboro, Pa., daughter of Wresley and Irene Iola (Thomas) Berkey. Preceded in death by parents; husband, Fred; and siblings, Leonard, Neva Wise and Hobert. Survived by siblings, Florence, wife of Arnold Brick, Hooversville; Olive, wife of the late G. Ralph Baker, Windber; Marian, wife of the late Harry Yoder, Windber; Marlin, and wife, Jean (Koot), Windber; Lois, wife of Sonny Swanger, Boalsburg, Pa.; Donna, wife of Robert Koot, Windber; and Janet, wife Allen Kushto, Windber; stepchildren, Owen, Richard, Judy, Marlin and Rodney; also numerous nieces and nephews. Bernice served in a variety of roles at Pittsburgh, Shade Creek-Ridge and Scalp Level Church of the Brethren. She attended one-room country schools in Crossroads and Flat Rock. Graduate of Windber Area High School Class of 1941. Graduate of Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Class of 1947, and received a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. She did post graduate study in psychiatric-mental- health nursing at New York and Penn State universities. After graduating from nursing school in 1947, she worked as a registered nurse at Conemaugh Hospital while pursuing more formal education at UPJ as a part-time student. She later worked at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic while continuing part-time study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. She began teaching as an instructor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing in 1952, except for periods of post graduate study. Her teaching spanned more than 38 years. Her work experience at the university included teaching undergraduate and graduate students. She served two years as chairman of psychiatric nursing department and taught at UPJ from 1981 to 1986 when the RN-BSN nursing program was started. She was involved in many community affairs including professional and volunteer. When Bernice lived in Pittsburgh, she opened her home to local families who had hospitalized family members out there. At Church of the Brethren Home, she was a member of the board of trustees on personnel committee, on executive committee for auxiliary and coordinator for the candy striper program. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Meek & Dalla Valle Funeral Home Inc., Windber. Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Scalp Level Church of the Brethren, the Rev. Ronald St. Clair, officiating. Inurnment at Berkey Cemetery, Windber, will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contribution may be made to Church of the Brethren Home, Windber or Windber Hospice in memory of Bernice.

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