Bernice King
1928 - 2021
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On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, Bernice Arlene Owen King, a dedicated, strong woman, passed away in her home in Lawrence, KS at the impressive age of 92.

She was born on September 22, 1928 in Emporia, KS, the daughter of Howard W. and Grace Ater Owen.

Bernice was a smart, hardworking woman, a graduate of Emporia High School and Salt City Business College in Hutchinson, KS.

She married David Mervin King on June 11, 1950 in Emporia, KS. He preceded her in death on June 6, 1993.

Bernice and Dave had a true partnership both as wife and husband and as business partners. She is survived by their daughter, Elizabeth Ann (and son-in-law Harold) Pearce, whom she loved dearly, and who came into the world on October 15, 1951.

Bernice loved her work and found great purpose in it. Together with her husband, she owned and built David M. King & Associates, a financial planning firm, in Hays, KS. They provided a strong foundation and a lasting legacy that would create opportunities for her family, her colleagues, and the thousands of clients who found financial security through their shared work. After Dave passed away, she continued to work at the company until 2017, retiring at age 88.

She was a woman of faith and acceptance, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence and the Order of the Eastern Star in Hays, KS.

She loved her family deeply. She moved her home and her business to Lawrence, KS in 1989 to be closer to them. She could often be found down at the soccer fields, bravely risking her new hairdo in the Kansas winds to take in a game of one of her grandkids. She adored attending their performances and events and was an avid theater-goer throughout her life.

She is survived by her grandchildren Jonathan Day (Liz) Pearce, Tyler Thurman (Maria) Pearce, Lauren McQueen Gulliver Pearce, Adam David (Tyla Fowler) Pearce, Nicholas Harold (Carissa Orth) Pearce; her great-grandchildren Trygve Pearce and Aiden Pearce; her sister Lila Heath; nephews Larry (Xuan) Pearson, Don (Ellen) Heath, and Brian Heath; nieces Jan Pearson, Sharon (Gary) Gordon, and Jeri Erskine, as well as a great number of grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and cousins, all of whom knew her affectionately as Aunt Bea.

Bernice was also preceded in death by sister Lela Pearson. nephew Les Pearson, and niece Teri Hunt (survived by her husband James).

No services are scheduled at this time. A family burial will happen at a later time.

Memorial contributions may be made in Bernice's name to Shriners Hospitals for Children, a cause close to her heart, and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

For more information or to post a condolence go to warrenmcelwain.com.


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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Mar. 31, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
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1 entry
March 31, 2021
Dear Liz, I am not sure you will remember me. Our home in Hays was across the street from yours on Willow Street. I was a prime “babysitter” on the block and spent some time with you when your parents needed some childcare in the 60’s. Your mom was a wonderful woman, a role model, and a kind friend. As I look at her photo above, I remember her smile and her laughter. I am glad that she had a long, happy life, and I am sure that you and your family brought her much joy. Peace to all of you as you deal with your loss.
Kathleen Walters Ochs
Neighbor
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