Bernita Mae Grimes, 84, of Bozeman, MT passed away July 15, 2020. She was born April 10, 1936 in Colorado Springs, CO to Delphine Elizabeth Mitchell and Homer Edwin Syme.
Her family moved to Hopewell, OR when she was in 2nd grade; the Hopewell SDA elementary school had one teacher for all eight grades. Bernita graduated from Laurelwood Academy in 1954 and went to Walla Walla College from 1955-1957, taking secretarial courses. She took a job at the Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists working as secretary to John Kerbs, Publishing Director. While working there she met Mike Leahey. She was registering the colporteurs at a mountain retreat and six months later they were married. After working at the publishing department, she took a job working for Mrs. Marnella at the credit office of Home Health Education Services. Daughter Rebecca Mae Leahey was born two years after they were married, and Bernita took three years off to raise her and then went to work at Pacific Press Publishing Association. Bernita and Mike worked as a team at PPPA. She was financial secretary and he worked on the folding machine in the bindery department.
They moved from the Chiquita apartment in Mountain View, CA to San Jose, CA where they bought their first home. In 1977 they moved to the country in Gilroy, CA where they commuted to work in Mountain View, CA.
In 1981 they moved to Walla Walla, WA where Bernita worked in finance at the college. They lived there until 1984 when the Pacific Press moved to Idaho and they took the call to work there. Bernita worked as head accountant in Idaho and at Pacific Press as an accountant for 27 years in total until her retirement. She was a distinguished Employee of the Month while working there.
After Bernita retired, they moved to Fishersville, VA to be close to their daughter. They lived ten minutes away and Bernita took care of her grandkids Cade and Shane. She was there for milestones like first steps, etc. She was always looking out for her family with unselfish love.
Two years after her husband passed in 2007, she was reacquainted with Wayne Grimes. They communicated through the airwaves from Montana and Virginia for a short while, were married October 9, 2009 in Virginia and then moved to Montana. The grandkids were able to see Grandma and Grandpa Grimes every summer.
They enjoyed 10 years of marriage. They had morning worships, watched old westerns, and visited with family. Wayne stayed by her side through thick and thin, in sickness and in health.
She lived a life full of love, hope, and grace. An unselfish example of a Christ filled life. We have this hope that when Jesus comes again, we will all be united to never part.
Bernita was predeceased by her sister Dorothy Buettner and brother Edwin Syme. She is survived by her husband Wayne; daughter Rebecca (Leahey) Witz of Lacrosse, VA; grandsons Cade and Shade Witz; step-daughter Joey Louise Nelson of Bozeman, MT; sisters Doris Syme of Irvine, CA, Ethel Rieley of Portland, OR, Selma Wolfswinkel of Elizabeth, CO.
A Graveside Service will be held at Sunset Hills Cemetery on Friday, July 17, 2020 at 2:00PM.