Bernice Bal

Obituary of Bernice Ann Bal

Bernice Ann Bal, 90, died Monday, May 27, 2024, at the Gardens of Park Pointe in Morris, IL.

She was born on July 27, 1933, in Niagara, WI, the daughter of the late John and Lucille (Dubey) Baker. 

Bernice graduated from Niagara High School in 1951.  She married John Bal on February 13, 1954, at St. John’s Cathedral in Milwaukee, WI. 

Bernice traveled the country in support of her husband’s Naval service until his retirement in 1968, living in California, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, and Florida.  Many of those years were raising three young children in an 8’ x 40’ mobile home while John was out to sea for six to nine months at a time.  Afterward, they moved with their family to Waukesha, WI.  Bernice went to work at the Deerskin Center, cutting patterns and making a number of items from tanned deer skins.  Bernice once told her co-workers that deer season is all her husband, John, thought about in the two to three weeks prior.  He would usually go hunting with a group of six men including his brothers.  The entire family would reap the benefits as each of the Bals had jackets from John and Bernice’s combined efforts of hunting and sewing. 

John and Bernice returned to John’s hometown of Norway, MI, in 1996.  Bernice moved to the Gardens of Park Pointe in Morris, IL, in 2022. 

Bernice’s love of crafts was not limited to sewing deer skins.  She made clothing items for her young children and special dresses for her granddaughters.  She also made framed cross-stitch artwork for gifts and decorations for her home.  Other talents included crochet; making doilies, throws, and Barbie clothes for her granddaughters.  Bernice was an excellent cook and known for bringing her homemade raviolis, pasties, and pigs-in-a-blanket whenever visiting family.  Christmastime would find her busy making popcorn balls and Christmas cookies, which has become a Christmas tradition for her children and grandchildren alike.  She is remembered by her grandchildren for walking in the door and saying “come and give me a big squeeze” … they would come running!

Bernice’s legacy is her family.  With John at sea, she managed the household while at the same time instilling dreams in her young children.  All three went to college and had successful careers.  They attribute this to Bernice.

Bernice is survived by her three children: sons, Gary (Clara) Bal of Morris, IL, Bruce (Lisa) Bal of Hopedale, MA; daughter, Marge Bache-Wiig of Plymouth, MN; nine grandchildren, Cynthia (Dave) Baricos, Sarah (Andrew) Cornick, Peter (Risa) Bache-Wiig, Meredith Bache-Wiig, Grace Bache-Wiig, Jessica Bal, Jamie Bal, Janine (Gentry) Burch, Jensen (Brittney) Holder; and four great-grandchildren Vivienne Baricos, Emmy, Sophie and Olivia Cornick as well as many nieces and nephews.

Bernice was preceded in death by her husband, John Bal; her siblings, Alice Rose, Mary Koss, Alvin Baker; and brothers-in-law, Walter Bal, Edward Bal, and Joseph (Tata) Bal.

Funeral services will be in Norway, MI, and announced at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Lightways Hospice at 250 Water Stone Circle, Joliet, IL  60431.

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Lightways Hospice at 250 Water Stone Circle, Joliet, IL 60431.