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On Sunday, February 27, 2022, Mrs. Bernice Hays of Winter Garden, FL entered into her Heavenly home. Born Bernice Alfreda Schwerdtfeger on February 11, 1922 in McClean County, KY to Mr. Farrand C. Schwerdtfeger and Ara Pinkston Schwerdtfeger. Bernice was valedictorian of her high school class at Spottsville, KY in 1939 the year she married Dixon D. Hays. While Dixon served in the Army Air Corps during WWII, Bernice accompanied him to several duty stations and worked in defense related industries herself.
After the war, Bernice and Dixon settled in Henderson County, KY until moving to Florida in 1950 with their son, Dixon Alan. Their daughter, Phyllis Jane was born in 1952, In 1957, the family moved to Winter Garden where Dixon was employed by Florida Power Corporation. Bernice was a homemaker who participated in her children’s education as a home room mother and volunteer for school trips. She also worked at Lakeview High School office in 1970.
While Bernice was an inspiration to many people in several ways, one of those significant ways was teaching the 4 year old Sunday School class at the First Baptist Church of Winter Garden for more than 30 years. Bernice and her husband served for many years on the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team and in her later years she volunteered as a cook on mission teams to Montana, Wyoming, and Kentucky. Her zest for life, her independence, and her love for Jesus were true markers that were important to her.
The family is exceptionally grateful for the many gestures of love, including the more than 160 people who attended her 100th birthday party on February 12, 2022.
Bernice was predeceased by her husband of 66 years, Dixon. She is survived by her two children, her son, Alan (Jeanne) of Umatilla, FL and her daughter, Phyllis Jane (Jonathan) Latham, of Kilgore, TX. Bernice leaves 7 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family is encouraging those who wish, to make a memorial donation to:
PO Box 425
Lynch, KY 40855
The family will be hosting a visitation for friends and loved ones from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at Collison, Carey-Hand Funeral Home located at 1148 E. Plant St., Winter Garden, FL.
The Celebration of Life will be at the First Baptist Church of Winter Garden Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 4:00 PM
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
4:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Collison Carey Hand Funeral Home Chapel
Thursday, March 3, 2022
Starts at 4:00pm (Eastern time)
First Baptist Church of Winter Garden
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