Bernice Lorene Sutton of Swedeborg passed away at her home on July 1, 2017, at the age of 88 years, 8 months, and 8 days.
She was born Oct. 23, 1928, in Lesterville, to the late Chester and Fairy Faye (Russell) Hickman.
Bernice graduated from Lesterville High School in 1946, attended Southeast Missouri University, and then went on to teach for some time before becoming a candy maker for the Sunmark Candy Company (where she got to meet the real Mr. Wonka, Gene Wilder); she retired from the company in 1989.
In March of 1951, Bernice was united in marriage to Wilbern “Cotton” Sutton who preceded her in death on Jan. 8, 2006. To this union two children were born: Joyce Ann (Bill) Bockenholt of Bella Villa, and James Edward (Claydene) Sutton of Lemay.
Bernice is survived by her children; four grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; five great-great grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Joan Hickman and her family; and many other family and friends.
Bernice enjoyed making quilts for friends and family, she loved all animals, and was known to call turtles and fish when it was time to eat, talk with the deer, and aide the squirrels with cracking and opening their nuts. She was an avid gardener and was known to grow record breaking vegetables, and made some of the best homemade blackberry jelly. She also would can her vegetables for all of her friends and family.
A celebration of life was held Friday, July 7 at the Cole Family Funeral Home. Interment was in the Hyatt’s Creek Cemetery in Lesterville. Pastor Aaron Boeving officiated the services.