Where Caring Is A Family Tradition
Bernice Emma DiVall was born on June 14, 1920, in Calmar, IA, to Arthur and Alvina Ufer. In October 1920 the family moved to Winneconne, WI, where her father started Riverside Motor Company, one of the first automobile companies in the state. Bernice attended school in Winneconne: she went to grade school at the West school and graduated from the high school in 1939. While a student, she played trombone in the band and spent two years each as a cheerleader and drum majorette. After graduation she went to business school in Oshkosh, and studied secretarial business and accounting.
Bernice married Ray Willis “Bill” DiVall on December 20, 1941. Bill and Bernice lived at the Resorter’s Inn on South First Street in Winneconne for 14 years, and then they built a home on Lake Butte des Morts in 1955 that Bernice designed. They were married 63 years, until Bill passed away November 3, 2003.
Bernice worked for Sears & Roebuck and Kitz & Pfiel in Oshkosh, and she was a bus driver in Winneconne for Riverside Motor Company, which supplied the first school buses in the area. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Winneconne. For several years she was also a member of the Winneconne Civic League and headed the Family-to-Family Cancer Campaign for the American Cancer Society in Winneconne. She also promoted and organized Ice Skating for Winneconne Youth, which enabled the village to provide a rink and music for ice shows throughout many winters, and she was a leader of a Girl Scouts group of senior girls called the Horizon Club. Bernice was also a 25-year member of the Wisconsin Phenological Society, where her duties included recording first-sightings of various plants and migratory birds, and monitoring the ways various weather conditions affect lilacs.
Bernice and her husband enjoyed camping and, later in life, motor coach tours. Through their travels, they visited every state in the nation except Rhode Island and Hawaii. In their earlier years, both were avid partridge and pheasant hunters. Bernice enjoyed the sports of motorboat racing and fishing, and she was an outstanding swimmer. She also kept an impressive garden, cooked many recipes with her home-grown vegetables, and was a spirited card player.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her sister and brother-in-law Lila Mae and George Barr, and her niece Maureen Hoelzel.
She will be dearly missed by her great-niece Erin (Eric) Jacobsen, and their children Mila and Eller, as well as Erin’s father Joe Hoelzel. She will also be missed by her faithful companion Westie dog Sadie, and many other family members and friends.
A visitation will be on Monday, May 23, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Mueller Funeral Home 904 E. Main St. Winneconne. A funeral service will be held on Monday at 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Kim Johnson officiating. Burial will follow in the Winneconne Cemetery.
In lieu of sending flowers, please plant a garden or a tree, or put fresh clean water in your birdbath, in honor of Auntie B.
If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net.
Patti Yana wrote on May 19, 2022
I remember meeting Mrs DiVall when the Butte des Morts Historical Preservation Society was working on our book on the history of Butte des Morts. Her caretaker called me and we all met during the Butte des Morts Bicentennial Celebration. Our book wasn’t complete yet, but I gave her some of the writings. She was so gracious and very grateful to receive them. What a wonderful long life she lived! I am sorry for your loss. May she Rest In Peace.
Annie King wrote on May 18, 2022
Bernice will be missed by many as she brought to so much joy to others! Will always remember the good times we shared, whether it was celebrating our birthdays together, baking together, doing dishes together, or just sitting down watching the ducks out her big picture window and having a lovely conversation. When asking her what she attributed her long life to she said "hard work" and that she did. Can't begin to convey the blessing that she was to me. My sincere sympathies to Joe, Erin & family & Rainy & family.
Susan Enz wrote on May 17, 2022
Erin and family and Joe, my deep sympathies in the death of Auntie B. Joe shared a picture he took just a little over a week ago when she was putting her red geraniums in the planter by her house. How quickly life can change. When the good Lord says it’s time, it’s time. May she Rest In Peace. Love Aunt Sue/ sister Sue