Bernice Baresel Munson, age 98, passed away on Nov. 6, 2019. Bernice was born June 16, 1921 at the Baresel home near Clarks Creek in eastern Geary County and was the daughter of Edward and Victoria (Kramer) Baresel. Bernice and her four sisters loved learning. When she was five, Bernice entered first grade at Wetzel one room School. She completed grades 1 – 6 in five years and attended 7th and 8th grades at Berry School, also a one room school, where she graduated at age 11. She was an honor graduate among the 8th graders from Geary County Rural Schools in 1933.
Throughout her childhood Bernice and her sisters were active participants in the Baresel Family Dairy operation where they milked cows twice daily. From age 12 to 15, while Bernice attended Junction City High School, she drove the truck full of milk cans to town each day after completing the morning milking and other chores. She excelled at her studies. She graduated from Junction City High School in 1937 and immediately began doing secretarial work and bookkeeping for the Junction City Cheese Company and the Dwight Dairy Products Company—work that she continued until her marriage.
On October 12, 1941, Bernice married Ralph Munson at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Geary County. In February of 1942, the couple moved into their newly constructed home located six miles west of Junction City on Highway 40. Bernice lived in that home for 68 years. In this home, Bernice and Ralph reared three children and both worked actively on the farming operations. Bernice took the lead in financial record keeping and in managing data on the purebred Angus herd. She raised chickens, sold eggs, raised and preserved fruit and vegetables, drove grain trucks during harvest, and was active in the community. She taught generations of 4-H members how to construct beautiful garments, how to give speeches and demonstrations, how to select crop samples for the fair, and how to prepare quality baked items. Bernice was a great baking coach who credited her sister-in-law Jo Munson with teaching her how to prepare food when she was first married. Bernice was a long time leader in the Geary County Extension Homemakers Unit, was a dedicated 4-H leader, and served on the Highland Cemetery Board.
Bernice was a woman of faith. She was baptized, confirmed, and married at St Paul’s Lutheran Church. She joined the First Presbyterian Church of Junction City when she married. She served the Presbyterian Church in many capacities. She served as a church Elder, as head of the Administration Committee, was a leader in Presbyterian Women’s activities, chair of the kitchen committee, and helped with church stewardship drives.
Bernice was preceded in death by her husband Ralph and her sisters Mae Baresel Ascher and Marie Baresel Jorns. She is survived by two sisters, Ruth Baresel Gfeller of Chapman and Irma Baresel Sjo of Manhattan; three children Charles and Deanna Munson and Robert and Christine Munson of Junction City and Virginia and Tom Moxley of Council Grove. Her grandchildren are Michelle Munson and Serban Simu, Amy Moxley Westfahl and Jerrod Westfahl and David and Laura Munson, Sara Munson Girard and Nathan Girard, Angela Moxley Wiltz and Andy Wiltz, and Michael and Lindsey Munson. She is also survived by twelve great grandchildren: Aidan and Kieran Simu; Eden, Cade, and Isaac Westfahl; Camilla Munson; Austin and Ella Girard; Sydney and Rhett Wiltz, and Morgan and Dylan Munson.
The family will receive visitors Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019 from 2 until 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 113 W 5th St, Junction City. The funeral service will be Monday, Nov. 11, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church with burial afterward in Highland Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Junction City or Highland Cemetery in Junction City.