Obituary for Berneice Ihrke

Berneice Ihrke, 81, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed away Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at CHI Health Bergan Mercy in Omaha, Nebraska.

Berneice Viola, the daughter of Merwin and Ruby (Robinson) Bishop was born on June 24, 1936, in Atlantic, Iowa. Berneice attended school in Lewis, and graduated from Lewis High School in 1954. Following graduation, she attended St. Luke's Practical Nurse’s School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She worked at the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic and then at a hospital in Pueblo, Colorado.

After returning to Atlantic, she married LeRoy E. Starlin on May 20, 1960. Three daughters were born to this union, Ruby Ellen Cowen, Julia Lee Purcell and Lynda Diane Ihrke.

On November 13, 1971, she married Wayne M. Ihrke in Rockwell City, Iowa. Berneice and Wayne lived all of their married life in the Atlantic area and both worked at Cass County Memorial Hospital for many years. She was dedicated to her patients and thoughtfully anticipated decorating doors for the upcoming holiday to boost their spirits.

Berneice was active in many local activities and took great pride in community betterment. She worked with the Hitchcock House, making most of the jams and jellies that were sold there. Berniece also volunteered at The Ferry House, Lewis Betterment Group, Cass County Genealogy, and 4-H. She was a member of the Atlantic Kiwanis Club, and looked forward to playing the role and reading the story of Josh the Otter that raised awareness of water safety. While at home she enjoyed gardening and sewing.

Berneice is survived by her three daughters, Ruby E. Cowen of Griswold, Julia Lee (Jeff) Purcell of Omaha, and Lynda Diane Ihrke of Atlantic; 10 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Florence Bishop; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Merwin and Ruby; husbands, LeRoy and Wayne; granddaughter, Tara Konrady; brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert Lewis (Marian) Bishop, Richard Allen (Lois) Bishop, and Lawrence Bishop; sister, Gertrude Cornelia (John) Swinford; and sister and brother-in-law, Rose Mary (Milton) McGowen.

Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m., Monday, October 2, 2017, at the United Church of Christ with Reverend Nancy Jensen officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church starting at 2:30 p.m.

A committal service will be held at a later date at the Southlawn Memory Gardens.

Memorials may be made to the Hitchcock House in Lewis.

Roland Funeral Service is caring for Berneice’s family and her arrangements. Condolences may be left at

Berneice Ihrke

June 24, 1936
Atlantic, Iowa

September 27, 2017
Omaha, Nebraska
At the age of
81 years, 3 months & 3 days

3:30 p.m.
Monday, October 2, 2017
United Church of Christ
Atlantic, Iowa

Reverend Nancy Jensen

Jan Highfill

"Amazing Grace" by the Congregation
“On Eagles Wings” by Randall Breckerbaumer
“You'll Never Walk Alone” recorded by Judy Garland

Keith Wayne
Ethan Purcell
Grant Purcell
Jesse Gierke

At a later date
Southlawn Memory Gardens
Atlantic, Iowa

The family invites you to join them for
refreshments immediately following the service.

Memorials may be made to the Hitchcock House.

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