Bernadine M. Gaston, 87, of Aurelia, died Sunday, Feb. 24, 2002, at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center after an extended illness.
Funeral services for her were held yesterday at the First United Methodist Church in Aurelia, with Pastor Jack Weida officiating. A visitation was held at the Redig Funeral Home in Aurelia. A memorial fund has been established.
Bernadine M. Nelson was born on Nov. 30, 1914, to N.K. and Agnes (Petersen) Nelson on a farm north of Alta. She attended Highview School, graduating in 1934. She then attended Iowa State Teacher's College in Cedar Falls, and taught at several rural schools in Buena Vista County and Cherokee County, and also at Quimby Community School.
She met her future husband, Wayne Gaston, at Elk Baptist Church of rural Alta and they were married on Nov. 14, 1945. In their early years of married life, they lived and farmed in the Peterson area and later moved north of Aurelia where they farmed until retiring in 1980. Bernadine worked alongside her husband, doing fieldwork, helping with livestock and always raising a large garden.
Three daughters were born and many happy years were spent in being involved in their activities. Bernadine loved to bake and her specialty was making breads and rolls, often giving them away to family and friends. Her family's favorite was her cinnamon rolls, which she usually had available when her grandchildren visited.
She was active in 4-H for many years and was a 4-H garden leader. Church was a very important part of Bernadine's life and she was especially active in the Sunday School department, serving as a teacher for many years and as Sunday School superintendent. It was her desire to see that her students were clearly presented with the Gospel message in the years when her health was good, she often visited those who were sick and in need, cheering them with words and baked goods. She also had a ministry of encouraging people with written notes and letters.
Bernadine was a wonderful wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister, grandmother and friend to many. She will be especially missed by her family for her faithfulness in praying for those she loved and for anyone with a special need. Even though her last years were plagued by many health problems, she often said, "All in all, I have had a wonderful and full life and have much for which to be thankful." One of her favorite quotes was, "Only the life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."
Preceding Bernadine in death were her parents; one sister, Ruth Ross, and her husband, Delmer Ross; and one sister-in-law, Evelyn Nelson.
She is survived by her husband, Wayne Gaston of Aurelia; three daughters, Carol and her husband Lyle Rasmussen of Waverly, Dr. Janet Gaston and her husband David Fattig of Alamo, Calif.; and Kay and her husband Randy Jipp of Aurelia. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, Paul Rasmussen, Jill and her husband Eric Groezinger, Joshua Jipp, Emily Jipp and Eric, Gregory and Brian Fattig; and three brothers, Woodrow and his wife Irene Nelson of Rochester, Minn., the Reverend Alvin Nelson of Albert Lea, Minn., and Floyd and his wife Marian Nelson of Bella Vista, Ark.; nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.