July 24, 2017
Loved by family and friends, Bernice Lillian Elert (nee Theissen) went to heaven on July 24, 2017. She was born in St. Paul February 18, 1927 and enjoyed a childhood playing outside with neighborhood friends. She was very musical, playing and performing on the piano, accordion and clarinet. Bernice loved to dance and rollerskate and was a member of the St. Paul Figure Skating Club. She graduated from Wilson High School and attended the University of Minnesota, earning her BS in Medical Technology. After graduation, she taught two years at the U of M Hospital and then was hired to be the head of Miller Hospital laboratory in St. Paul. She did research, winning the prestigious Kimball Award and publishing with several pathologists. While at the U of M, Bernice met her husband, Warren Elert, who also played clarinet in concert and marching band. They dated by streetcar, were married in 1949 and lived in St. Paul and then Roseville. Bernice was active in church where she played organ, taught Sunday School and often ran the Vacation Bible School programs. She frequently volunteered in her children’s schools and was instrumental in the construction of the auditorium at Alexander Ramsey High School. Bernice also had many hobbies and interests including painting, china painting, gardening, sewing and entering flower arrangements in the Minnesota State Fair. Bernice and Warren loved to fish and for 52 years vacationed on Lac Des Mille Lacs in Ontario. They passed on their love of fishing, the Canadian wilderness and adventure to their 2 children and grandchildren. Bernice and Warren found great joy in their five grandsons. They attended every school event, concert, recital, hockey or soccer game possible. They also enjoyed travelling to Europe and in the US. Bernice was an amazing mom, grandma, friend and neighbor. She opened her heart and home to many and made everyone feel welcome. Her joyous reunion with Warren and dear friends will make heaven sing. Bernice is survived by daughter, Conni (Bill) Strait, son, Dr. Brent (Jeanne) Elert and five wonderful grandsons: Reid and Kyle Strait and Alex, Matthew and Eric Elert. We are grateful for the excellent and loving care Bernice has received in the last two years at the Friendship Homes Community in Roseville. She thrived and became very attached to staff even as her health diminished. Funeral Service: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at Roseville Lutheran Church, 1215 Roselawn Avenue West, Roseville, MN 55113. Visitation 2pm, Service 3pm, Dinner 4pm. Memorials Preferred to the Friendship Homes Community or family.