Bernadine E. Wessels

Bernadine E. Wessels

6/12/1926 — 11/10/2023

After a long and productive life, Bernadine E. Wessels of Lewiston passed away peacefully on Friday, Nov 10, 2023, at TriState Health in Clarkston surrounded by family and in the loving care of the compassionate hospital nursing staff and St. Joseph Family Hospice. She was 97.

Bernadine was born June 12, 1926, in Greencreek to Leo Schumacher and Mary Schmidt Schumacher, the fifth of eight children. She had a bucolic family life growing up on the farm, which also required long hours of demanding work, both inside and outdoors. Being a bit of a tomboy who was especially close to her dad, “Bernie” was his sidekick, helping him with all the required chores. Even though her family experienced the challenges of the Depression and World War II, it was an idyllic upbringing. She attended grade school in Greencreek, played the tuba in the Greencreek High School band and graduated in 1944.

Bernie was an amazing mother who ran a loving household with frolicking playfulness, exacting precision and the unending spirit of “The Energizer Bunny!” She was also a tough disciplinarian and instilled a strong work ethic in each of us. Her house, vegetable and flower gardens, and yard were lovingly tended and impeccably maintained. She was incredibly talented and creative. Being an accomplished seamstress was a “must” raising six daughters and four sons. There were Saturday afternoon trips to The Vogue Shop to show her the perfect dresses needed for the many proms. She would copy the style creating those gowns from scratch, even making her own patterns. She spent countless hours designing and sewing dresses, suits, formals and sportswear for her children. Additionally, she loved to crochet and produced hundreds of Christmas ornaments, an entire Christmas village, sweaters, hats, blankets and golf club covers. Her culinary skills were on par with any chef — delicious holiday meals, wedding feasts and party fare. Her tables were beautifully set and complemented with lovely centerpieces created from her prolific gardens or a seasonal theme. When it came to homemade jerky, cinnamon rolls, cookies and holiday candies, Bernie was incomparable. Her house was always open to friends, family and her children’s legion of friends. Her greatest joy was serving countless dinners and hosting numerous parties with a spread that equaled a buffet at The Ritz. She always judged the boyfriends by how much they ate, and to her dying day she was still trying to feed us.

For years Bernie was an active member volunteering at her former parishes — Our Lady of Lourdes, St. James and All Saints Catholic parishes. She spent many hours helping organize, prepare and serve funeral dinners. Using her cooking, sewing, and crocheting talents, she contributed to the bazaars and fundraisers held annually. Bernie was also a contributing volunteer for St. Vincent de Paul. She was dedicated to her faith, believed in the power of prayer, read her daily scripture without fail, and the prized wooden rosary crafted by her dad was always within reach. Over the years, she and Harold traveled extensively across the U.S. visiting family from Alaska to Florida, California to Washington, D.C., and many points in between. They also vacationed in the San Juan Islands, Hawaii, and Europe. Her positive, Pollyanna attitude, active lifestyle, and strong faith kept her “young at heart.”

Bernie will forever be in the hearts of all who knew her and is lovingly survived by her devoted children Kathy Heinemeyer, Marg (Gordon) Strong, all of Lewiston, Donna (Ray) Painter of Walla Walla, Doris Leonard of Benton City, Wash., Ken (Karen) Wessels of McMinnville, Ore., Ed (Lana) Wessels of Council, Idaho, Debbie (Dan) Moser of Lewiston, daughter-in-law, Rebecca Wessels, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Diane (Rick) Murray of Coeur d’Alene, Ray Wessels of Tucson, Ariz., and Kim Wessels of Boise; plus 21 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. Her only surviving sibling is Monsignor Andrew Schumacher of Lewiston, and she is also survived by her in-laws, Margie Schumacher of Greencreek, Waltraub “Teddy” Wessels of Wasilla, Alaska, Dorothy (Don) Keuter of Tacoma, and Irene Wessels of Greencreek; plus 68 nieces and nephews.

Bernie was preceded in death by Harold, her husband and waltzing partner of 57 years, her son Albert Leo Wessels, her grandson Karson Lee Wessels, and her sons-in-law Michael L. Heinemeyer and Michael J. Leonard, her parents and her siblings and their spouses Leona (Arnold) Wassmuth, Lawrence (Clara) Schumacher, Roman (Anna Marie) Schumacher, Estella (Charles) Wilson, Rita (Donald) Wessels, and Ambrose Schumacher; her in-laws, Rita (Clarence) Wassmuth, Marcella (Robert) Uhlenkott, Sister Mary Edward (Viola) Wessels, O.S.B., John Wessels, Sister Mary Bernice (Wilma) Wessels, O.S.B. and Elmer Wessels.

Service Information

Date & Time
Monday, November 20, 1:00 PM
All Saints Catholic Church
3330 14th Street
Lewiston, ID 83501

Get Directions

Offer Condolences

Private? (will not be displayed on the website)

Security Question

Business Hours & Directions

Business Hours

Sunday: Closed

Monday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Tuesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Thursday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Saturday: Closed

map View larger map
920 21st Avenue
Lewiston, Idaho 83501
(208) 743-6541 or 800-584-8812