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Berniece Catherine Heier

KSAL StaffAugust 4, 2022

Berniece Catherine (Kinderknecht) Heier, age 90, passed away on July 31, 2022 at her Grainfield, Kansas home. She was born February 23, 1932 in Menlo, Kansas to Joseph and Philomena (Hertel) Kinderknecht. She married Alfred Heier on August 5, 1952 and unto this union 7 children were born. Most of her life was spent on the farm raising their children and being a supportive farmer’s wife.

Alfred and Berniece were active members of the Kansas chapter “Po.L.K. of A” and traveled to many dances throughout the area. Their Polka influence carried through their family as they taught their children and grandchildren the dances and played Polka at every gathering. They were also lifelong members of the local American Legion and VFW. Once Alfred passed, Berniece moved to Grainfield Kansas and carried on these traditions with her friends and family through volunteering at the American Legion “Stag and Stagette” dinners and attending American Legion Ladies Auxiliary meetings and events.

Berniece further contributed to the community through her service to the church via the Altar Society and the St. Agnes Ladies. Berniece was a woman of strong Catholic faith and showed that to the very end of her life. Even shortly after her passing, one of her great-granddaughters commented on how much “Grandma really loved Jesus.” Her faith shaped and enriched her life, and she led by example with her devotion.

Her contributions to the community were noticed through her involvement and further supported via her hobby of quilt making as she donated some of her handiwork to various fundraisers. She enjoyed constructing different quilt designs through various patterns of quilt blocks, material, and embroidery, and she shared her passion with family and friends by revealing her latest finished design and teaching others the art of quilt making. In addition to the family memories of her quilt making hobby, many remember her homemade bierocks as a family favorite as well as her delicious Christmas time rosettes, German potato salad, barbeque meatballs, coconut cream pie, and cinnamon bread. Berniece’s influence along with her cooking and sewing skills created many memories.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Philomena Kinderknecht, her loving husband, Alfred, one son, Alan, two infant daughters: Kay Ann and Catherine Marie, her grandson, Brandon Heier. Also preceding were her brother, Emanuel (Marilyn) Kinderknecht, and sisters: Angeline (Robert) Kaiser, Alberta (John) Wolf, Olinda (Douglas) Zeigler, and Caroline Kaiser.

She will be greatly missed by her surviving children and families including her four sons: David, Ron (Patti), Mel (Catherine), and Larry (Marilyn), her sister Dorothy (Don) Schroeder, her brother-in-law Frank Kaiser, eleven grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and many others.

Services are to be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Grinnell, Kansas. Visitation: Friday, August 5, 2022 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., with rosary/vigil at 8:00 p.m. Funeral Mass on Saturday, August 6 at 10:00 a.m. with Fr. James Thomas officiating. Burial to follow at the Church Cemetery with Honor Guard by the Wheatland VFW Auxiliary #2864.

Memorials may be made to the Immaculate Conception Church in Grinnell or St. Agnes Catholic Church in Grainfield, or for masses and may be sent in care of Kennedy-Koster Funeral Home, P.O. Box 221, Oakley, KS 67748.

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