Bernice Jean (Rupp) Hartzell of Twisp, Wash. was born to Sylvan and Pearl (Frey) Rupp in Wauseon, Ohio June 19, 1933. Bernice was the fourth of seven children growing up on the family farm in northwest Ohio. Bernice Hartzell was 86 years old at the time of her death Oct. 31, 2019. She was a lifelong Christian, and held strong beliefs. She remained faithful to the end.
Bernice got a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Goshen College, and then a Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University. She taught nursing in Goshen, Indiana before moving to Seattle, Wash. where she worked in public health. There, she met Ward Hartzell through an early computer dating service. They were wed Dec. 26, 1964. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer carried the front-page headline, “Cupid Computer Clicks for Compatible Couple”.
Through the 70’s, Bernice did the accounting for her husband’s landscaping business while caring for three young children. In 1979, the family moved to Twisp, where they homesteaded on property just below McClure Mountain. Bernice started working for Okanogan Regional Home Health Care in 1980, for the next 18 years until her retirement in 1998 as director of the 70-person agency with offices from Okanogan to Davenport.
Bernice enjoyed gardening and putting up food, cooking, reading, Bible Study, and serving at Omak Seventh-day Adventist Church where they attended.
Bernice is survived by her husband, Ward; son, Derek (Sara) Hartzell, of Twisp and grandson, Ethan; son, Craig (Terri) Hartzell of Renton, Wash. and grandchildren, Nathan and Kaylin; daughter, Janet (Roger) Evans of Kent, Wash. and grandchildren, Roger “Martin” (Kelly) and Lexie; brother, Lowell “Sie” (Jueldine) Rupp of Archbold, Ohio; sisters, Marcile Nofziger of Archbold and Margaret (Carl) Smeltzer of Harrisonburg, Va.; and sister-in-law, Peggy Rupp of Pettisville, Ohio.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Melva (Doyle) Short and Betty (Cliff) Liechty; an infant sister, Janice; her infant granddaughter, Aleah; brother-in-law, Merrill Nofziger; and her brother, Roger Rupp (by one day).
There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019 at Omak Seventh-day Adventist Church, 425 2nd Ave. W., Omak, WA