Bernice F. Rachel, age 97, of Maple Lake died on Friday, April 13, 2018 at her daughter’s home in Buffalo with her family at her side.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 16, 2018 at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Maple Lake with Fr. John Meyer Celebrating. Burial will follow at St. Timothy Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held 3:00-6:00 p.m. on Sunday and 9:00-10:00 a.m. Monday, both at Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel in Maple Lake. A prayer service will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Caring & Sharing Hands.
Bernice Frances Rachel was born May 8, 1920 in Buffalo, Minnesota to John and Barbara (Veches) Vokaty. She grew up on a farm in rural Maple Lake until graduating from Maple Lake High School with the Class of 1937. After graduating, Bernice would take the train in on Monday morning, work during the week at Sears & Roebuck in Minneapolis, then ride home for the weekend on Fridays along with Ralph Mooney. On July 19, 1941, she was united in marriage to James Hubert Rachel at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Maple Lake. They lived on the Rachel family farm along with Jim’s parents, eventually purchasing the farm in the ’50s. Bernice worked the farm alongside her husband while also tending to the duties of raising their nine children. In 1999, they moved into the city of Maple Lake. After Jim’s death in 2010, Bernice spent her winters in Florida.
Bernice was a lifelong member of St. Timothy Catholic Church. She was baptized, recieved her first communion, was confirmed, and married all in the same church. She was a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and the St. Timothy CCW. Bernice enjoyed playing cards in a 500 card club and a court whist card club. She also enjoyed baking, cooking, gardening and polka dancing. James and Bernice liked to walk; they would walk from the farm into daily Mass at St. Timothy and continued this after moving to town. She also enjoyed traveling including several international vacations and traveling all over the United States. Bernice’s family was everything to her; she loved being a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother.
Bernice is survived by her nine children Kenneth (Emily) of Maple Lake, Gerald (Kaye) of North Ft. Myers, FL, Susan (Bob) Kuhlmann of Buffalo, Joyce Eckdale of Georgetown, TX, Sally Klein (Doug Bischoff) of St. Cloud, Mary (Bob) Kolb of Buffalo, Barb Rachel (Dick Van- Beusekom) of Buffalo, Carol (Al) Hoekstra of Buffalo and David (Anne-Claire) of Shakopee; 21 grandchildren Becky Couette, Don Rachel, Joanne Rhoades, Shari Clark, Brian Rachel, Suzanne Rachel, Dan Kuhlmann, Tammy Perkins, Kari Kuhlmann, Paul Eckdale, Molly Bohmfalk, Jeremy Klien, Joshua Klein, Nathan Schmitz, Amber Hearing, Jami Schupp, Jennifer Schupp, Michelle Hoekstra, Winona Rachel, Kyle Rachel and Maya Rachel; 41 great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and dear friends Della and Elaine. She is preceded in death by her parents; husband James; brother Clarence Vokaty; and son-in-law Tom Eckdale.
Bernice’s grandchildren will serve as casket bearers and honorary casket bearers. Marge Pavlik and the St. Timothy Resurrection Choir will provide the music for the service. Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Maple Lake.
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