Berniece Kuykendall, of Llano, TX, passed away Sunday, November 2, 2008, in the Llano Memorial Hospital at the age of 88 years. She was born February 28, 1920, in Esbon, Texas, to Charles Lynn and Eva Jane (Wooten) Harlow. Berniece was the fourth of their seven children and their only daughter. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 64 years, Wilson, and 4 brothers (Nolan, Edsil, Clinton, and M.C.) as well as twin siblings who died at child birth.
She is survived by daughters (and their spouses) Linda Wiliece and Richard Hoffman, of Plano, Texas; and Sandra and Franklin Crain of Cherokee, Texas; as well as three grandchildren, Dale Christian and wife, Jennifer, of College Station; Tye Crain and Eric Solada, of Oakland, CA; and Dawn Riordan and husband, Shea, of College Station. Berniece truly became “great,”, when three great granddaughters entered her life – Natalie and Alanna Christian and Charlotte Riordan all of College Station. Surviving brothers and their spouses are Tilmon and Sylvia Harlow of Llano; Dale and Dorothy Harlow of Celina, Texas; and Carlos and Shirle Harlow of Colorado Springs, CO; also, sisters-in-law Norma Lee Harlow of Llano and Rosemary Harlow of Brownwood as well as numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Berniece attended school in Esbon and lived there until she met Wilson and was married on April 2, 1941, in Valley Springs, Texas. She was, as many young women of that day, left alone when Wilson was called to his country’s service in World War II. She gave birth to their first daughter, Linda Wiliece, only 2 months after Wilson shipped out for Europe and would not see him for 2 years. During this time she lived with her parents in Esbon and her in-laws, Homer and Pearl Kuykendall in Cherokee. She sewed and knitted gloves, socks, etc. for the war effort. When Wilson returned, they lived in Cherokee for the remainder of their lives where she supported Wilson in his ranching endeavors and as San Saba County Commissioner for twenty years.
Berniece and Wilson enjoyed many things together including playing dominoes, attending fiddling contests, working with their daughters in 4-H projects, traveling to reunions with Wilson’s Army buddy’s, and enjoying their grandchildren. She was an accomplished seamstress and self-taught artist; clouds, windmills, bluebonnets, and oak trees were her specialty. Her eye for colors served her well in her sewing as well as in her painting. She often made school costumes for plays and special occasion dresses for Jr.-Sr. banquets both for her daughters and others.
She served as a 4-H leader when her girls were at home, was an active member of the PTA, sold Avon products for many years, taught Bible and VBS classes at the Cherokee Church of Christ of which she was a member all her adult life, and participated in the Ladies Auxiliary of the Cherokee Volunteer Fire Department. Her Christian faith was an inspiration to all who came in contact with her. She will long be remembered not just by her family, but by the community, for her devotion to her Lord Jesus, her family, and her community. One of her biggest worries after she could no longer live at home or drive and moved into Care Inn Nursing Home in Llano was that she could not attend church regularly. But, this did not keep her from reading her Bible regularly until her eye sight prevented this.
Berniece had a zeal for life and wanted to live it to the fullest even though handicapped by many physical ailments in her later years. As a young woman she often “showed up” her daughters by doing better cartwheels than they could and by participating in the mother/daughter charity basketball games at the high school (even if she couldn’t get out of bed for two days after the game.)
Services for Mrs. Kuykendall were held Thursday, November 6, at 2:00 p.m. at the Cherokee Church of Christ with interment following at the Kuykendall Cemetery in Cherokee. Officiating was Minister Doug Suggs and Dr. Jerry Christian. Visitation was held Wednesday afternoon from 5:00 until 6:30 p.m. at the Cherokee Church of Christ.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cherokee Home for Children, Cherokee Church of Christ, Kuykendall Cemetery or any organization of your choice.