Berniece Mae Hodgson, 93, Platteville, formerly of Mineral Point, passed away peacefully on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, at ManorCare in Platteville.
Berniece, affectionately called “Bunny,” was born Dec. 16, 1923, to Roy and Mary (Koehler) (Lampiear) Showalter. She was the second youngest of 10 children. She was raised on a farm in Bear Creek Township near Elkader, Iowa. After completing high school in Elkport, Iowa, she went to work at a café in Baraboo. There she met her future husband, Harold S. Hodgson. Harold was a 1939 graduate of Wisconsin Mining School in Platteville and was working at Badger Ordinance (Baraboo Powder Plant).
Harold was inducted into the U.S. Armed Services in November 1942 and sent to basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas. Berniece, who had never traveled more than 200 miles from home, joined him there. They were married Feb. 27, 1943, at the chapel on base. Berniece returned north and spent the war years with her family in Iowa and at Harold’s family farm on Condry Road outside of Platteville. In May 1943, Harold boarded the transport ship USS West Point along with over 8,000 officers and enlisted personnel on their way to the unknown. He was assigned to the Engineering Corp. and served in Africa, Sicily, Italy and France. In Sept. 1945, he returned home to Berniece and a 21 month old son Stephen.
Berniece and Harold settled in Lancaster, where two more children, Colleen and William, were born. In 1957, WP&L transferred Harold to Mineral Point. There they purchased their first and only house and made it a home for over 50 years. Berniece loved the old brick house and was extremely proud that it was listed as a Mineral Point Historical Home called the George W. Cobb House. Cobb was a railway superintendent who built the house in the 1860s.
Berniece loved being outdoors, raised large gardens, and loved and cared for animals. She especially enjoyed traveling to all parts of the country to visit her children. She and Harold spent their 50th wedding anniversary in Eagle River, Alaska, with their daughter, Colleen.
Harold passed away in 1998. Berniece remained active; taking care of her beloved home, traveling, caring for animals and enjoying the outdoors until 2008 when she suffered a disabling stroke and was confined to a wheelchair.
Berniece is survived by daughter, Colleen; son, William (Maureen); grandchildren, Ashley and Brady; daughter-in-law, Monica; grandchildren, Craig (partner, Roger) and Marc (Jennifer); and great-grandchildren, Heather, Corey and Macie.
Berniece was preceded in death by her husband, Harold; eldest son, Stephen; her parents and her nine siblings, Adeline Arnold, Josephine Malone, Mary Frederich, Jerry Lamphiear, Mabel Willie, Clifford Lamphiear, Jessie Lamphiear, Thomas Lamphiear and infant, Lamphiear.
Berniece requested cremation and her ashes mixed with her beloved husband Harold. There will be a private family service in the spring. The Melby Funeral Home and Crematory in Platteville assisted the family.