WINTHROP — Bernice Yates, 91, a resident of Richmond Road, Litchfield, died Monday, Jan. 24, at Heritage Rehabilitation Center after a period of declining health.

She was born July 2, 1919, in Hartford, the daughter of Fred and Mildred Farrington Gurney. Bernice graduated from Canton High School in 1939.

On Sept 2 1939, in Auburn, she married Forrest Yates; Forrest passed away in 2000. Bernice was a homemaker; she also worked at Auerbach Shoe and she and her husband owned and operated Litchfield Corner Store from 1960 to 1974; Bernice was also a Tupperware demonstrator for many years.

She enjoyed gardening, canning and freezing the produce she grew; she also enjoyed sewing, hunting, fishing, camping and bird watching. Bernice was very accomplished at knitting and crocheting.

During their retirement years, Bernice and Forrest enjoyed trips to Alaska, Florida, and Cape Cod, Mass. She was a member of the Litchfield Extention and also belonged to the Litchfield Senior Citizens.

She is survived by six daughters, Marilyn Webb and her husband, Stanley, of Bowdoin, Beverly Mason and her husband, Cedric, of Whitefield, Sharon White and her husband, Aaron, of Litchfield, Mildred Crocker and her husband, Earl, of West Gardiner, Carol Wheeler and her husband, Wendell, of Dresden and Gloria Savin and her husband, Brian, of Hardwick, Mass.; a son, Forrest “Buzz” Yates and his wife, Donna, of Leeds; a sister, Doris Brown, of Canton; 14 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband; two granddaughters, Christina Goff and Teresa White; and two brothers, Warren Gurney and Fred Gurney Jr.

The family of Bernice would like to recognize and thank the staff at the Heritage Rehabilitation and Living Center in Winthrop for the wonderful quality and compassionate care and support that Bernice received while living there. Our heartfelt thanks to Jean Jennings, mom’s Hospice nurse.

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