STERLING – Bernice M. Fester, 98, of Sterling, died Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at Resthave Nursing Home in Morrison.
She was born Nov. 24, 1915, in Freeport, the daughter of Frank G. and Edith (Faust) Michel. She moved in 1923 to Sterling with her family. She married Eugene Fester on July 29, 1936, in Chicago. He died in September 1995. She was associated with her husband in the shoe business. She worked for the federal government; insurance offices; and the former Central National Bank in Sterling, as a transcriptionist, for 20 years. Bernice was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Sterling and the Altar and Rosary Society. She had been a noted 50-year member of the church choir. She was a charter member of the Sweet Adelines quartet. She was a member of Sterling Ladies of the Moose, CGH Auxiliary, and the American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed crocheting afghans for her grandchildren and friends, and working crossword and jigsaw puzzles.
Surviving are her five daughters: Judith (Dick) Hourigan of Moline, Penny Francque of Sterling, Connie Green of Phoenix, and Mary (Benny) Escamilla and Debbie (John) Devine, both of Sterling; one sister, Valeria Reed of Sterling; 18 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren.
She also was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Shirl Michel and Leonard Michel; two grandchildren, Joseph Escamilla and John Devine; and a son-in-law, Joel Francque.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m., with the rosary recited at 4:45 p.m., today at McDonald Funeral Home, 1002 12th Ave., Rock Falls. Celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Sterling, with the Rev. James Keenan, celebrant, officiating. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Sterling.
A memorial will be established.