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Bernard Sherman Grant, 95

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Bernard Grant died on Monday, March 3. He lived a long fulfilling life in Pierce County reaching the age of 95 years.

Bernard was the oldest of seven children born to Sherman and Agnes (McMahon) Grant in El Paso Township. He attended Olivet grade school and graduated as class Salutatorian of the class of 1937, from Spring Valley High School. He graduated with a 2 year teaching certificate from River Falls State Teachers College in 1939. Bernard taught at several rural schools, Cloverdale, Gilman Center, and Carmichael.

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Bernard married Ioliene Bernice Bjornstad on Aug. 28, 1942. Bernard and Ioliene shared 71 years of love. They were a wonderful example of true love to all of their family. Seven children were welcomed into this union, Beverly, Judith, Mary Alice, Benedict, James, Mark, and Barry. All the children helped with the farm work and gardening. Bernard returned to teaching after 14 years of farming.

While farming and teaching he completed his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Wisconsin State University-River Falls, in 1966. He taught one year at Waverly and 26 years at the Gilman Elementary School. He taught 5th grade and was the Principal at Gilman for many of his teaching years. Many Spring Valley residents have said they had the pleasure to be a student in Mr. Grant's classroom. He retired from teaching in 1984.

After retiring from teaching and farming, Bernard started a new career as a volunteer. He devoted many years to Sacred Heart Parish as a Lector and Eucharistic minister. He served on the Human Services Board of Pierce County for 22 years, and was the President of the Spring Valley Senior Center for many years. He delivered Meals on Wheels, worked at the New & Used Store in Ellsworth and volunteered at the Spring Valley Nursing Home.

Bernard was preceded in death by his son, Mark in 1997. No doubt he and Mark have already shared several games of UNO. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sherman and Agnes Grant; siblings Mary (Vilas) Raeder, Dorothy (Earl) Hartung, Ruth Grant, Robert (Marie) Grant, and Brother Simon Grant, SDS; father-in-law and mother-in-law Oscar and Emma Bjornstad; in-laws: Carol (Clarence) Ingli, Jeanette (Malcolm) Anderson, and Beverly Bjornstad.

He is survived by his wife Ioliene; daughters, Beverly (David) Bibeau, Judith Wilson, and Mary Alice (Charles) Woiwode; sons, Benedict (Barb) Grant, James Grant, and Barry (Pam) Grant. He has one surviving sibling, Edward (Shirley) Grant, Avon Park, Fla. His surviving brothers-in-law are: Orin (Deanna) Bjornstad, and Don Bjornstad.

Bernard and Ioliene are blessed with 17 grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren. Anyone who knew Bernard knew he was a friend to all, with a strong Catholic faith. He absolutely loved to play cards (and WIN) and to tell stories. He kept a diary for 75 years and was a true Irishman. He was caring, sentimental, kind and generous, and devoted to his wife and large family. His memory was extremely sharp. He never suffered a "Senior Moment" when it came to names, birthdates, marriages, births, and deaths. May he rest in eternal peace.

Mass and Christian Burial were held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Spring Valley at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 8, with Fr. Kevin Louis officiating.

Bernard's grandsons served as pallbearers: Mike Bibeau, Scott Bibeau, Tim Bibeau, Matt Woiwode, Jeff Grant, Pat Grant, Tony Grant, Andy Grant, and Bryan Deneen. Honorary bearers were granddaughters: Patricia LaPorte, Kimberly Wilson, Melissa Welke, Jennifer Rock, Rebecca Grant, Jessica Geraghty, Kelsey Jo Grant, and Brianna Persson. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Spring Valley.

Memorials are preferred.

Keehr Funeral Home, (keehrfuneralhome.com) Spring Valley, handled arrangements.

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