Andover Berniece Elnora Thornton Reko, age 90, passed away peacefully at her home at The Farmstead in Andover on Sept. 16, 2013. A celebration of Berniece's life and of Christian Burial will be conducted on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Patton Funeral Home in Blue Earth, with Rev. Matthew Molesky, Berniece's grandson-in-law officiating. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Blue Earth. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Berniece was born on April 13, 1923, on the Thornton farm in Verona Township, Faribault County. She was the eighth of nine children born to William S. and Isabell (Mitchell) Thornton. Following her father's death, her mother remarried and when Berniece was 14 the family moved to a farm in Pilot?Grove Township.
Berniece was educated in the Huntley Consolidated School, country school in Pilot Grove Township, and Mankato State College.
On Nov. 18, 1942, Berniece was united in marriage to Russell W. Reko at the First Methodist Church in Blue Earth. During World War II, she resided on her parent's farm until 1945 when Russ was discharged from the Army.?Following the war, Russ and?Berniece made their home in Blue Earth. Russ passed away on Sept. 25, 1969. Following Russ's death, Berniece worked at Rog & El's Red Owl and Bomgaars Family Center in Blue Earth.
In 1985 Berniece moved to Rochester and during her years there she worked at Hallmark and Sears. In 2013 she moved to Andover and became a resident of The Farmstead.
Berniece was a long-time member of Salem Evangelical United Brethren Church in Blue Earth (which years later became Salem United Methodist Church), and Bethany United Methodist Church in Rochester. She was also an active member of the VFW Auxiliary and Legion Auxiliary in Blue Earth and Rochester.
Berniece enjoyed traveling, music, the Minnesota Twins, and playing cards she was a demon "500" card player.
Berniece was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her stepfather, Quello Sager; her brothers, William (Bernice) Thornton, Robert Thornton, Ralph (Mabel) Thornton, and Melvin (Elizabeth) Thornton; and by her sisters, Helen (Fim) Krull, Mabel (Lawrence) Oskerson, Gladys (Evard)?Sager, and Mildred (Marcell) Sorenson.
She is survived by her sons, William (Lea) Reko, of Lake City, Fla., and Kenneth (Linda) Reko, of Andover; daughters, Karen Sperlich, of Fruitland, Wash., and Lana (Robert) Goodman, of Rochester. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Susan Molesky, Sandra Pudwill, Shelly Gruber, Anna Reko, Tierney Goodman, Marshall Goodman, and Stephanie Reko; six great-grandchildren, Colton Molesky, Isabella Molesky, Ezra Molesky, Nehemiah Molesky, Samantha Gruber, Jessica Gruber, and Nicholas Gruber. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Thornton.
Memorials are preferred to the Faribault County Historical Society in Blue Earth, or The Farmstead Presbyterian Homes in Andover.
Web tributes can be left at www.pattonfh.com