Bernice was born Sept. 8, 1917, in East St. Louis, IL, the daughter of George and Frances Rolek, who immigrated to the United States from Poland. On May 13, 1947, at St. Adalbert Church in East St. Louis, she married Joseph C. Page, who preceded her in death in December 1994.
Growing up, Bernice worked in her parents’ grocery store, Rolek’s Grocery, at 1750 St. Clair Ave. in East St. Louis. The store operated into the late 1960s, but the building has since been demolished. She went on to raise six children with her husband, though other children in need were always welcome in her home. Everyone who came to her house got fed. Dozens of people she influenced came to thank her at her 100th birthday party in 2017. Not only did Bernice care for her children and others, but she helped her husband at his electric shop, Page Electric, in addition to doing alterations at home. She also cared for her sister until her death at age 51 and her father. She fed them all along with other relatives every night. Her table usually had about 12 people sitting around it.
In 1969, her husband and sons completed construction of their Belleville family home, where she would live until December 2018. At the time of her death, she had 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. She was the grandmother everyone wished they had. Her family continues Polish traditions they learned from her, such as making pierogi at Christmas.
Bernice is survived by her daughters Marilyn Blaha of Smithton and Marcia Wever of St. Louis; and sons Greg Page of Freeburg, Mark Page of Belleville, Larry Page of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ray Page of Millstadt.
Memorials may be made to Freeburg Care Center, 746 Urbanna Dr., Freeburg, or Hospice of Southern Illinois, 305 S. Illinois St., Belleville. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, October 26, 2019, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 26, 2019, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL, with Rev. Andrew Knopik officiating.
Burial will follow at St. Adalbert Cemetery off Old Lincoln Trail in Fairview Heights, IL.