Bertha A. Farris
1917 — 2016
Bertha A. Farris, 99 of Elgin, passed away Friday, August 19, 2016 at the Good Samaritan Society-Albion.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Friday, September 2, 2016 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Elgin, with Rev. Kevin Vogel officiating. Interment will follow at St. Boniface Cemetery in Elgin. Visitation will be 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, September 1, 2016 at Huffman-Levander Funeral Home in Elgin.
Growing up in Elgin, Bertha was baptized and confirmed at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Elgin, attended St. Boniface School and graduated from Elgin High School in 1934. Her education continued at Hastings Business College. Bertha cherished her life-long friendships and attended high school reunions for 80 years. She was the daughter of Bernard “Ben” and Anna (Selting) Beckman. Bertha married Dorsey E. Farris on January 29, 1940 in Omaha, NE. Sweethearts for life, Bertha and Dorsey often sat holding hands at family gatherings.
After several moves within the local area, Bertha and Dorsey made their home in Oakland CA. Bertha had a significant career with the Oakland Tribune in California. She retired in 1978 after serving three generations of the Knowland family, and having served as the Executive Secretary to the President: she was highly valued by the Knowland family. Her colleagues there remember her as “having a way of making everyone around her feel special.” Upon retirement in 1978 the couple moved to Mesa AZ where Bertha embraced her new parish, All Saints. She was a devout Catholic and took great pleasure in serving the Church. She was active on many parish committees and was a significant part of the life blood of the community. One of her fellow parishioners referred to her lovingly, as “the queen of the parish.” Bertha returned to her home in Elgin in 2001. She continued to be an active volunteer both at St Boniface and the Senior Center. Well into her 80s, Bertha continued visiting many local homes in her activity of “taking gifts to the shut-ins.” Bertha enjoyed serving as a Lector for over 20 years.
Bertha is survived by her son: Dorsey Gayle Farris and his wife Susan of Reno, NV; her nephew, Scott Beckman (wife Deb) of Elgin. She had two granddaughters: Sandra Ann Farris (husband Mike Behnke) and Deborah Farris; and 3 grandsons: Eric Farris (wife Holly), Nathan Farris and Zachary Farris. She is remembered as the “Cookie Grandmother” by 5 great grand-children.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Dorsey E. Farris; her parents, an infant brother Raymond, a sister Aurelian, and a brother Delbert Beckman
Bertha A. Farris