Bernice E. Buzaitis, 91, of Sheboygan, passed away on Monday, January 25, 2016 at Sheboygan Progressive Care Center in Sheboygan.

Bernice was born on June 14, 1924 in Louisiana, and she was the only child to Edward and Petite (Bottoroff) Carr. On September 19, 1942 in Louisiana she was united in marriage to the love of her life Frank R. Buzaitis after courting for two weeks. They were married for 57 years. Frank preceded her in death on October 29, 1999. Following their marriage they resided in Louisiana until after the war ended, and then moved to the family home in Sheboygan in 1949.

Bernice was an excellent cook, and loved making pies from the fruit harvested on their property. She made great chicken gumbo and fried apple pies, and made beef stew over an open fire in a cast iron pot, she also made great Friday fish fry dinners made from fresh lake perch caught by her husband. Bernice never learned how to drive a car, and always hung her laundry outside. Over the years she enjoyed regular coffee clutches with her best friend Carita, who lived just a short walk down the alley from her house. They enjoyed many hours of conversation and drank a lot of coffee. Carita and Bernice remained good friends for the rest of their lives. Bernice was very fortunate to have very good neighbors who watched out for her throughout the years. She was very proud of her children and the fact that both of her sons served their country in the Marine Corps. She loved animals and had many pets throughout the years, having pet chickens and pigs during her youth. One thing Bernice used to talk about was the fact that she would wait on the shore line watching for Frank, a commercial fisherman, to return from his trips. When the lake was especially rough she worried about him, and supper wasn’t served until he returned safe and sound. Bernice lived in the nursing home for many years struggling with Parkinson’s disease; she adjusted pretty well and continued going out to lunch at Charcoal Inn and having ice cream and torte afterward. In some ways you could say she had nine lives, but she managed to get through it. She was a survivor and was tough; she kept hanging on. Now Bernice can finally let go and be at peace. She can stand by the shoreline and wait for Frank and the rest of her loved ones.

Bernice is survived by her daughter: Maryann (Richard) Wilke of Plymouth; a son: Jerry (special friend Janice) Buzaitis of Sault St. Marie, MI; and a daughter-in-law: Mary Buzaitis VanDeHei of FL; six grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Frank, and a son: James.

A memorial Service will be held on Friday, January 29, 2016 at 1p.m. at Ballhorn Chapels Funeral & Cremation Care Center 1201 N. 8th St. Sheboygan. Inurnment will take place at Immaculate Conception Cemetery. Relatives and friends may visit with the family on Friday, January 29, 2016 from 12 Noon to the time of service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Parkinson’s Disease Research.

While at Sheboygan Progressive Care Center Bernice had many special caregivers including NA’s Jennifer and Amy, and Rn’s Cindy, Joan, and Lynnette. The family would like to thank all of the staff along with the speech and physical therapy dept. We are grateful for everyone that took such great care of her.

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