Berthena Marie Prentice

Berthena Marie Prentice of Vancouver, Oregon, passed away at home March 16, 2013, at the age of 94.

She was born in Elk Creek, Missouri, on November 27, 1918 to John Buchanan “Buck” Steely and Sarah Lou “Settie” Jane Sigman Steely. She grew up with an older brother, Cona Steely. Berthena graduated from Cabool High School May 23, 1935. Her grandfather, Dr. John Alexander Steely, built Steely Methodist Chapel and cemetery in Elk Creek, which is currently a historical landmark.

Berthena moved to Portland, Oregon, in the early 1940s and worked as a welder in the Vancouver shipyards during World War II. She also survived the Vanport flood in Oregon. Later she worked as a cashier for the very first Safeway Grocery Store built in Portland. This is where she met her soon-to-be husband, Leon Prentice. They were married February 18, 1950 and had two children, Bill and Janet. She always said her children were a blessing. Her everlasting faith in God gave her strength, patience and tolerance, which bound her family together with love.

Berthena was a homemaker and was involved in many things, including PTA with the school, sports, dance and more with the children. Some of the many things she enjoyed were sewing, yard work and her beautiful garden of vegetables. She was a very active woman, a hard worker, never complained and was always complimented on her beautiful smile.

Leon Prentice preceded Berthena in death January 8, 2013 after 62 years of marriage.

Berthena is survived by her son, Bill and Lisa Prentice, and grandchildren, Austin and Kelsey Prentice of West Linn, Oregon, and her daughter, Janet Prentice and husband Charlie Newson.

A graveside service was held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.

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