Berniece Evelyn Graber


May 4, 1923 - May 10, 2016


Berniece Evelyn Graber was born May 4, 1923 at Clayton, SD to Louis and Esther (Fiedler) Meillaud. She grew up and attended school at Clayton and graduated from Freeman High School and Freeman Junior College. She taught in country schools for several years. On March 19, 1944 she married Felix Graber at the Plum Creek Baptist Church near Clayton. Together they built a farm and raised their family near Freeman. Berniece farmed for many years and was a Certified Nurse’s Aide at the South Dakota Human Services Center in Yankton until retiring in 1992. She was a resident of the Menno-Olivet Care Center for the past ten years. She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Freeman.

She is survived by one daughter, Donna Louise Graber of Vermillion; two sons: Dennis (Peggy) Graber of Haymarket, VA and Dale Graber of Lewiston, ID; five grandchildren: Carrie Jo (Richard) Buttrey, Heather (Chad) Cooper, Dale Douglas Graber, Sharleas (Chris) Hunter, Erica Graber and five great grandchildren: Merissa Buttrey, Josiah and Shane Cooper, Evan and Eliana Hunter.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother, Ellsworth and daughter-in-law, Donna Marie Graber.


Friday, May 13, 2016
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
Freeman, South Dakota


Friday, May 13, 2016
11:00 AM
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
Freeman, South Dakota


Unity Lutheran Cemetery
Clayton, South Dakota

Posted by Dr. Lori Dewald on May 23, 2016
Dear Donna, Dennis, and Dale:

My sympathies to all of you and your extended families on your mother’s death. I was blessed to have also had her presence in my life during my childhood in Freeman and early teaching career in Yankton. Berniece was always on the go-go-go! She was an energizer bunny before there was such a moniker. I know she is now in heaven enjoying good conversation with my grandma and grandpa Dewald, and even better coffee!

I tried and tried to find the Hettinger-Bittner Funeral Chapel in Emery, SD website before the funeral so that I could extend my condolences, but to no avail until last evening (May 22nd) when my parents said it was located in Mitchell and just called Bittner Funeral Home. Alas, I have now found it.

Again, my sympathy as you move through the grieving process in the upcoming weeks and months.

Dr. Lori Dewald
Delmar, MD
Posted by Linda NIckles on May 12, 2016
To the family: I worked with your mom at state hospital for quite a number of years. I was a RN there and I loved working with Berniece. She was a very good worker and cared for the patients she took care of. I remember and loved her laugh and her smile. Prayers for all of you as you go through this time of grieving, I just wanted to send my condolences to you even though I didn't know you. (((hugs)))
Posted by Joleen Bos on May 12, 2016
Donna, my sympathies to you. From the short time I have known you, I know you have been first and foremost a caring and loving daughter to your mother, constantly doing what was best for her. May God remain your rock.
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