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Bernadean Reba Kinzer, 99, of Flora, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Thursday, September 7, 2023, at Milner Community Health Care in Rossville. She passed away just two weeks before her 100th birthday. She was born on September 21, 1923, in Colburn, IN, as the daughter of Harley Jay and Mary (Kauffman) Pearson. She graduated from Delphi High School in 1941 and married Robert (Bob) Kinzer on March 10, 1942. Bob and Bernadean celebrated 76 years of marriage before Bob’s passing in 2018.
Bernadean and her husband Bob were blessed to have a special needs child in Tom. This special gift of raising a handicapped child motivated them to become co-founders of the ARC of Carroll County which provides services to physically and mentally challenged citizens. Bob and Bernadean were instrumental in collaborating with the State chapter in the 1960’s to develop the first classroom in Carroll County to provide a classroom for special needs children in the public county school systems. They were an integral part of that organization for many years including serving as officers of the county chapter and organizing fundraising for many years by selling taffy at the Flora 4-H fair.
Bernadean was a loving mother and homemaker, and later in her life, she enjoyed working at the Flora Five and Dime. She was also a member of the Order of Eastern Star for many years. Bernadean attended services regularly at the Flora United Methodist Church for many decades. She then become a member of the First Baptist Church of Flora. Her church families were important to her. Her family is grateful for the members of these churches and the Flora community who provided support to Bernadean by taking her to church, to her important weekly hair appointments, doing errands and weekly Bingo games.
Bernadean had a special fondness for making greeting cards on her computer for all her family members. Her family misses receiving these special gifts of love from their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She also loved spending time with her family, reading her daily morning devotions, word search puzzles, playing Solitaire on her computer, the weekly Bingo at the Senior Citizens Center, watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and never missed enjoying her cups of hot tea. Bernadean moved to Milner’s in Rossville in September 2019 after experiencing a broken hip. While there, she participated in weekly activities including their occasional outings driving through the countryside, church and craft activities. She also enjoyed many friendships at Milner’s including reconnecting with a long-time grade school friend. She continued to play Bingo weekly and to play Solitaire on several different electronic devices even up to three weeks before her passing.
Surviving Bernadean are her children, Beverly (Charles) Wolf of Flora, Terry Kinzer of Burrows, and Barbara Kinzer of Indianapolis; brother, Sanford Pearson of Lafayette; sister-in-law, Ruth Pearson; grandchildren, Teresa (Kevin) Fisher of Flora, Alan (Shelly) Wolf of Laura, Ohio, Arlene (Jeff) Wise of Delphi, Todd Kinzer of Burrows, and Lori (Jeff) Reust of Minnesota. She was also fortunate to enjoy her 18 great-grandchildren; and 14 great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; son, Tom Kinzer; and four brothers and their wives, Richard (Betty), LeRoy, Harold (Mary) and Clifford Pearson.
Visitation will be Tuesday, September 12, 2023, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Day & Genda Funeral Home ~ Reinke Chapel in Flora. Funeral services will be Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home with Richard Voorhees officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Lawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Bernadean’s honor may be made to the First Baptist Church of Flora, 115 W Columbia St, Flora, IN 46929; White County Special Olympics, PO Box 962, Monticello, IN 47960; or the Carroll County Food Pantry, 11 S Center St, Flora, IN 46929. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home for donations. Messages of condolence to the family are welcomed at www.dayandgenda.com.