Cover photo for Bernice F. Manowske's Obituary
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1927 Bernice 2018

Bernice F. Manowske

December 2, 1927 — November 12, 2018

Bernice Frances (Hilbert) Manowske, age 90, of Fond du Lac, passed away peacefully on Monday, November 12, 2018, at Hospice Home of Hope where she was surrounded by her family. Bernice, “Bea,” was born on December 2, 1927, to August and Mildred (Rauch) Hilbert in Ashford. On October 29, 1947, she married Karl Manowske at St. Louis Church in Fond du Lac.

Having been born on her grandparents’ farm, Bernice spoke only German until the age of four when she moved to Fond du Lac. One of her fondest childhood memories was dancing with her father. She attended Fond du Lac public schools, graduating from Goodrich High School after meeting her future husband at a roller rink. After Karl returned from his military service during World War II, they married and started their family. Bernice often shared that all she truly wanted in life was a family to love. She raised five children and their friends, joyfully feeding the hockey and football teams whenever the opportunity arose. Bernice and Karl built their dream home on Lake Winnebago where they spent their lives in the company of their loved ones, hosting memorable events for extended family and friends throughout the years. A knock on their door was never expected as the door was open to all.

Bernice enjoyed cooking, traveling, reading, listening to music and the news, reflecting on scripture, engaging in bible studies, spoiling her dogs, and dunking her dessert in her coffee. Bernice was proud to be the “matriarch” of the generations that grew as the years passed. She loved to support her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in their activities. Bernice cherished the birthday celebrations held with her siblings and kept a handwritten book of all the special occasions within her family. The sentiment that she shared with all those she met was, “Have a joyful day!” Bernice will be dearly missed.

Bernice is survived by her five beloved children, Richard (Deborah) Manowske of Tollhouse, CA, Rita (Charles) Cormack of Fond du Lac, James (Debra Schubert) Manowske of Fond du Lac, John Manowske of Fond du Lac, and Peter (Lesley) Manowske of Malone. Her grandchildren are Tony (Tanya) Manowske, Kristina (Dave) Rentmeister, Maureen (Danny) Coyle, Jesse (Sarah) Wuest, Christopher (Kelle Close) Cormack, Leslie (Corey) Jeffers, Jamie (Elliot Leasa) Manowske, Stephen (Tristen) Manowske, James “J.J.” Manowske, and Morgan Manowske. Her two step-grandchildren are Seth Perlman and Rachel (Victor) Perlman Vargas. Her great-grandchildren include Jackson Rentmeister, Nicholas Rentmeister, Murphy Coyle, Calleigh Coyle, Tyler (Shado LaCount) Wuest, Caleb Wuest, Isaac Wuest, Lyla Cormack, Milena Jeffers, Hazel Jeffers, Noah Manowske, and Will Leasa. Her step great-grandchildren are Diego and Catalina. Her siblings are Robert Hilbert, Sharon Hilbert, and Mary (Rick Shell) Froehlich. She is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Bernice was preceded in death by her husband Karl Manowske, her parents, parents-in-law Walter and Matilda (Johann) Manowske, brother-in-law Stanley (Verdelle) Manowske, sisters-in-law Gloria Anderson and Shirley (Dick) Thompson, sisters-in-law Rose (Rady) Hilbert and Rita (McFarland) Hilbert, and one infant daughter named Mary.

Special thanks to everyone including family, friends, and neighbors for everything they have done for Bernice.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Fond du Lac Blue Line Club/Ice Center, 550 Fond du Lac, WI, 54935, or Fond du Lac Area Foundation.

A private family gathering will be held to celebrate Bernice’s life. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bernice F. Manowske, please visit our flower store.


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