Bernice R. Baldauf

Bernice R. Baldauf

September 5, 1931 – January 7, 2023

Bernice Rose Johnson was born September 5, 1931, in Hazel Dell Township in Iowa to Marvin and Cecile (Hutchison) Johnson. She was the oldest of 5 children in a farming family living in the Hazel Dell Township during the depression years and as her father helped farm family farms.  The family settled on a farm in Persia, Iowa eventually in the 1940’s. She graduated Valedictorian from Persia High School in 1950.  After high school graduation, she moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa and worked as a secretary and met her husband, Ralph Baldauf, roller skating at the local roller-skating rink. On December 13, 1953, Bernice married Ralph E. Baldauf at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs, IA.

Bernice liked to cook, sew and worked in the home while raising 6 kids. She was an avid gardener of fruits and vegetables in the backyard and planted many flowers in the yard.  She worked as a teacher’s aide in the Reading Services room and in the cafeteria during lunch at Oak Valley Elementary School when all of her kids were school aged. 

Bernice was active at her church bible studies, women’s group and Horizon Club at Lutheran Church of the Master. She also provided food for funerals or other groups as needed at the church. She helped with girl scouts and boy scouts when her children were active.

Bernice passed away peacefully with her family gathered on January 7, 2023, at her home at Hillcrest Country Estates Cottages in Papillion, Nebraska She received wonderful care from the staff at Hillcrest Cottages and Hillcrest Hospice at the end of her life.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph; infant son, George Marvin; great-granddaughter AnJaliquie Ruckman; brother, Duane Johnson; sister Mildred Miller; brother-in-law, Chester Baldauf; sisters-in-law, Rosie Baldauf and Mary Gilson.

Survived by daughters: Karen (Tom) Buntin of Moore, OK, Katie (John) Ruckman of Omaha, NE, Jan (Pete) Whittier of Myrtle Beach, SC, Donna (Bogart) Nomad of Elkhorn, NE; sons, Jim (Gina) Baldauf of Lenexa, KS and Steve (Julie) Baldauf of Omaha, NE; 17 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren;  brothers-in-law, Bob Miller of Atlantic, IA, Dwell Gilson of Council Bluffs, IA.; sisters, Mary (Keith) Peterson of Shelby, IA and Eileen (Frank) Killpack of Neola, IA.


Visitation: January 11th, 5-7pm, at Heafey-Hoffman-Dworak-Cutler 7805 W Center Rd Omaha

Funeral: January 12th, 10:30am, at Lutheran Church of the Master East Campus, 2617 S 114th St Omaha

Interment: 2pm at Garner Township Cemetery in Council Bluffs, IA.

Memorial contributions to Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands, Special Olympics Nebraska, Nebraska Spina Bifida Inc, or NAMI.


  • Kathy jones Posted January 9, 2023 6:14 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Lots of good memories of your mom. Kathy Ellison.

  • Eric Ruckman and Family Posted January 9, 2023 6:18 pm

    May our thoughts and prayers be with The Entire Family!!!

  • Joan Benson Posted January 9, 2023 8:21 pm

    I am so sad to hear about Bernice’s passing. She was a beautiful lady and always pleasant to be around. We spent many hours together here at Hillcrest 82. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. May the good lord help you through this most difficult time.

  • Sandra Harris-Johnson Posted January 9, 2023 9:55 pm

    To Karen Buntin and family, in times like these we need strength from a source greater than us and that source is our loving Savior. May the Grace of God and the power from on high give each of you what you need to mend your broken hearts. On behalf of the Church Women United of Oklahoma, we extend our greatest sympathy and our prayers are with you as you walk through this most difficult time.

  • Robert D Gilson Posted January 10, 2023 6:23 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of Aunt Bernice! She was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever knew! She would spoil all of us kids when we went to visit our cousins and make pancakes for breakfast on Saturday mornings. We always had a good time visiting our cousins, causing mischief and riding bikes. She will be missed! Love you all, Rob.

  • Dave Laughlin Posted January 11, 2023 7:41 pm

    There was no one in this world like your mom. She was a special person. She was always there to help anyone in our neighborhood and especially the kids at Oak Valley. I’ll never forget her!

  • Erica s Posted January 12, 2023 10:30 am

    Bernice was a very special lady. She always kept a smile on her face with a funny story to tell!! She will truly be missed.

  • Carolyn Srajer Posted January 12, 2023 1:18 pm

    I have such great memories of the Oak Valley years. It was great fun working with
    Berniece. The bond that the faculty formed made our school such a warm
    and inviting place to work and for the students to learn!!! Berniece was a very
    special lady!!!!!

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