Bernice Lehmberg (1927-2022)
She was “country before country was cool”, born in a sturdy three-room farmhouse on the edge of Quihi, where Hondo Creek ran almost year-round, and the windows rattled in a good North-ner. Her childhood memories were a mix of chores, long walks to Vandenburg schoolhouse, and reading under a large oak. Pretty and chestnut-haired as a teen, her first dates were with soldiers from the local base. Then and throughout her life, she reflected the values of her parents: quiet devotion to God, Family, and the Land.
Post-war America was a bustle; with agriculture on the decline, she was part of the first rural generation to navigate the transition en masse to the non-farm economy. She moved to San Antonio with her girl friends, and worked at a piano dealer near Five Points. After her marriage ended in divorce, she had to make ends meet as a single mom (unusual in the early ‘60s). Vocational college led to almost three decades in civil service, as clerical staff in support of high-profile accident investigations at Kelly AFB. She retired early and moved back to Hondo to take care of her parents full-time.
Through it all she remained a Hill Country girl, who enjoyed bluebonnet meadows, gardening in a denim jacket, and shampooing her hair in the creek when it was high. Down to earth, fiercely independent, her life was never easy, but she faced it bravely. She was Pioneer tough, masked by an outward grace, sweetness, and generosity. She delighted in meticulously planning thoughtful, personalized gifts. “If you were her friend…you were her friend”.
Bernice Lehmberg, d. January 28th, 2022. Pre-deceased: parents Arnold Nietenhoefer (1905-1991) and Minnie Nietenhoefer (1905-2006), brother Martin Ray (1932-1942). Surviving: daughter Cheryl Reed; grandsons Zach, Colin, and Samuel.
Services are under the direction of Hondo Funeral Home.