On Friday evening, Oct. 18, 2019, Mrs. Bernice "Niecey" Hare was surrounded by her loving family as she transitioned from this life and received her heavenly reward. She was 74 years young.
Bernice was born on March 16, 1945 in McCullough, Alabama as the fifth of 11 children to Mr. Willie Lee Johnson Sr. and Mrs. Pearlie Mae Johnson. Bernice grew up in the southern Alabama region and resided in Daphne Alabama during her formative years.
She attended St. Mary's Catholic School and graduated from Baldwin County Training School in 1964.
She met, Elbert M. Hare, the love of her life, when she was 16 years old and married him in December 1963, and they remained so for more than 55 years until the date of her departure.
Bernice supported Elbert as a military wife and traveled the world with him during their nearly 30 years of honorable military service.
She was employed in various lines of work that gave her joy. She managed a military fitness gym in Mannheim, Germany. She bagged groceries at the military commissary in North Carolina. She was the marketing representative at the local newspaper in Trenton New Jersey. She was an entrepreneur and business woman, launching a boarding house, a night club and bar, a thrift shop, an import/export car shipping service and an adult assistant care home in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina. She retired from nursing at The Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Hampton, Virginia in 2012.
She effortlessly accomplished all of these things while still finding the time to be a Boy Scout Den mother for her son and an avid band booster parent for her daughters.
Bernice loved sporting events. She was a football fan and played softball with various adult leagues over the years. She loved to ride bikes and roller skate. As a youngster, she would perform various gymnast and athletic activities with her sisters.
She loved gardening and respected nature. She loved animals and took great joy in caring for her pets and the surrounding wildlife. She made lasting friendships with countless people in various states and countries. She had an adventurous and fearless personality.
She was fascinated with airplanes, trains, large engines, aircraft carriers, fast cars, and semi trucks. She loved the ocean and the beach. She was a gifted sketch artist, leaving her original works on notes and cards to her loved ones.
Bernice was a huge country music fan and included Loretta Lynn, Pasty Cline and Dolly Pardon among her favorite artists. Bernice was also a wonderful singer and songwriter. She was a self-taught piano player.
She attended a music writing and publishing workshop in Nashville, Tennessee, where she received positive reactions for songwriting techniques. She lent her voice to church choirs and often sang at the request of her patients at the VA hospital.
Bernice was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1987. She humbly shared her testimony and joy with those she encountered in her day-to-day life. She was a faithful and obedient servant. She accepted each calling and task with an open mind and a joyful heart.
Her most fulfilling experiences included a trip to Jerusalem, where she was able to walk on the same path as her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She truly lived her life in service. She was always available to provide help and understanding to those in need.
Her beautiful smile and warm welcoming nature drew people to her. Her counsel was respected and treasured.
Bernice was dedicated and devoted to her family and her community. She loved spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren.
She encouraged and support each one in their dreams and aspirations. She led by example and instilled in her children the value of hard work, respect for authority and faith in God.
Bernice was preceded in death by her father, Mr. Willie Lee Johnson Sr.; her mother, Mrs. Pearlie Mae Johnson; and her granddaughter, Micaela Krystal Nicole Briscoe.
Bernice is survived by her loving husband, Elbert M. Hare. She is also survived by her children, daughter Evelyn D. Moss (Toshiro Moss, son-in-law), daughter Paula L. Hare-McAnderson (Trujillo A. McAnderson, son-in-law), and her son Zester M. Hare (BaDrea Hare, daughter-in-law); her grandchildren, Anthony E. Briscoe, Taylor K. Gore (Bryan Gore, spouse), BaJaya Hare, Zoe Hare, Daegan A. McAnderson, Rohan T. McAnderson and Zavier Hare. She was especially loved as "Super Granny" by her only great-granddaughter, Kiyaela D. Treadwell. She was loved and survived by her honorary daughter and granddaughter, Ms. Tanya Fairley and Ms. Tyana Thorne. Bernice is survived by her siblings, Mr. Willie Lee Johnson Jr., Mrs. Vergie Nettles (George (deceased)), Mrs. Bennie Lee (James), Ms. Eloise Wilson, Mrs. Josephine Jackson (Grit (deceased)), Ms. Annette Wilson, Mr. Freddie Johnson (Erika), Mr. Horace Johnson (Laura), Mrs. Malinda Durgin (Michael), Mr. Joe Lewis Johnson (Jan); and her in-laws, Mrs. Octavia Johnson(deceased) (Eddie Sr., (deceased)), Mr. Percy Bailey (Alice (deceased)), Mrs. Rosemary Snowden, Mr. Calvin Hare (Linda) and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of her life and memorial ceremony will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 6420 Morganton Road Fayetteville NC 28314 on Friday Oct. 25, 2019 at 1 p.m. Repass will immediately follow the service.
The family will receive friends and relatives for viewing on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Herring Funeral Care 2720 Murchison Road, Fayetteville, NC 28301.
Due to scheduling issues, a simple interment service will take place on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 at 2 p.m. at The Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery, 8220 Bragg Blvd., Fort Bragg, NC 28303.