Stevensville – Berniece DeLaire (Reynolds) Bishop, of Stevensville, MT passed away at
Hillside Manor in Missoula, on Saturday, August 3, 2013.
She was born in Bainville, MT on March 2, 1926, the daughter of Curtis
and Ida Adams Reynolds, the third oldest of five children. Berniece
received her education in Bainville and began working in Havre as one of
the first employees of the Buttrey Food store.
She married John (Jack) D. Lee in Big Sandy on Dec. 24, 1944, bringing
into this union eight children. She and Jack lived in Ferndale around
family for a number of years, before moving to Seeley Lake, where she
was well known for her huge family dinners and spending time helping
Jack run his trucking business. She spent many hours taking care of her
home, participating in her children’s activities, being PTA president,
swimming with her kids in the river behind the house or at the pot hole.
In 1964 the family moved to Stevensville to a small dairy farm where she
learned the art of the automatic milking machines, working for approximately
20 years at the Fort Owen Inn where she became affectionately known as
“Bea”. She worked for Stevi Bakery, Stevi Drive Thru and other eating
establishments. She also owned and operated the Lee’s Husky Gas station
and eatery in Victor.
After Jack’s passing, she married Paul Bishop in Lethbridge, Alberta in
December of 1974. She loved traveling and fishing trips with Paul until his
death in 1980. This brings to mind the fishing trip up the Yaak, where
while fishing she disturbed a mama moose that proceeded to chase her
back to a campground looking for safety.
She was a wife, mother, grandmother, great and great great grandmother.
She spent her time caring for her family. Her hobbies included playing
bingo, gardening, fishing and caring for plants and flowers. Her family
will remember her for her love of picnics, which were on all summer holidays
and attended by many. Bring on her famous fried chicken!
She much enjoyed also, her visits by her great grandson Ty; he walked in
the door and her face would just light up and this was only increased as
Zane and Zack were born and began to move around her house this past year.
She was preceded in death by Jack Lee, Paul Bishop, Gayle Franklin,
Beverly Steele, Morgan Lee, Dorothy Lee, Kenny Evans and siblings
Valera, Trudy and George as well as grandsons Brad Franklin, Michael Lee
and Elliott Geurin.
She is survived by her children: David (JoAnne) Lee, Elberta, AL,
Teri (Gary) Iverson, Sunburst, MT; John Harris (Sharon) Lee, Missoula, MT;
Sheri (Gerry) Clark, Charlo, MT; Tami (Ruben) Armijo, Victor, MT; her sister Judy
(Glen) Stevens, Bigfork, MT; 44 grandkids, 87 great grandkids and 15 great
greats; and son-in-law Terry Franklin, Kalispell, MT.
A funeral service to celebrate her life was held on Saturday, August 10 at the Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville. Interment followed at Riverside Cemetery in Stevensville.
A potluck picnic was held at the Bass Creek campground following the
Memorials in Berniece’s name may be made to the Stevensville Senior
Center Meals on Wheels. The family also asks that you just do a
single random act of kindness for an elderly person. Berniece
appreciated those moments when someone held the door for her or gave her
a cheery hello.
Condolences and memories may be left for the family at