Bernadette "Bernie" H. Griese, age 100, a resident of Naperville, IL, formerly of Lombard, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home, Sunrise Senior Living, on October 27, 2017.
Bernie was born in the small town of Diorite, MI on September 29, 1917 to her loving parents, John and Hildegarde (nee Salson) Dower. Her dad owned the general store in town, where he was postmaster general, and her mom owned a dance studio. She and her four siblings lived a carefree life there until they moved to Chicago, and the Depression created hard times. Bernie graduated from Lakeview High School (Class of 1935) and Metropolitan Business College, a two year business school. She was the manager of a Heineman's Bakery in Chicago where she met her sweetheart, Fred, who lived above the bakery and came in daily for sweet treats.
After living in Chicago and Deerfield, IL, Bernie and Fred settled in Lombard, IL, and raised their children in a beautiful home built by Fred. Bernie enjoyed doing volunteer work with children and adults with special needs, the Lombard Woman's Club, her children's schools and RiverPlace in Naperville, where she lived for 15 years. Bernie was a devoted Cubs fan who, in her youth, would sneak into games by climbing the fence at Wrigley Field. She waited a long time to see her Cubbies win the World Series. She cheered them on throughout the playoffs and World Series, wearing her lucky Cubs necklace and singing "Go, Cubs, Go!" Bernie loved to dance and would often go to the Aragon Ballroom for a night of dancing with her husband and friends. They especially loved polkas and waltzes. Her grandchildren have fond memories of dancing the polka in their grandparents' living room. Bernie loved to play Bingo and joined her friends for one last game during her last week of life. She also loved card games, especially pinochle and canasta. Bernie's greatest joy in life was spending time with her family. She loved to cook and bake, and her culinary skills were appreciated by all who knew her. Bernie credited her longevity to having a caring family and daily servings of red wine and chocolate. Bernie was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Fred Griese, who she was married to for 57 years, a newborn baby daughter, Gloria, a sister, Rose, three brothers, Jack, Kenneth and Walter, a daughter-in-law, Laurie Griese, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Bernie is survived by her loving children, Fred Griese and Barb (Wayne) Stuart; cherished grandchildren, David (Amy) Stuart, Kristen (Jeremy) Didier and Katie (Ted) Nichols; and adored great grandchildren, Jaxon, Felicity, Holly and Charlie. In honoring Bernie's wishes to not have a traditional funeral service, the immediate family held a bedside prayer service and will have a Celebration of Life luncheon with extended family and friends. Donations in Bernie's name may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis,TN 38105, long supported by Bernie, or a charity of choice. Bernie will be greatly missed by her family and friends, but her beautiful spirit will live on in all who knew her.
All services are private. Arrangements entrusted to Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 44 S. Mill St., Naperville, IL 60540. For more information, please call 630-355-0213 or www.friedrich-jones.com