Longtime Denair resident, Billie Berniece Black, passed away on April 18, 2017 at the age of 101.
Berniece was born March 29, 1916 in Goltry, Oklahoma. At the age of three years she moved with her family to Fairmont, Missouri, where she resided until March of 1929. Due to health concerns of her mother, the family moved to Denair, California which was her permanent home for many years.
In June of 1929 she graduated from Turlock’s old Hawthorne Grammar School. She was a graduate of Denair High School, Modesto Junior College, and Biola University, where she earned a B.A. in Christian Education.
Berniece worked at Turlock Lumber Company as a secretary and bookkeeper until the beginning of World War II, when she transferred to the Government Evacuation Hospital in Modesto for wounded soldiers.
When the war was over, she earned a M.A. degree and Secondary Teaching Credential from the University of California at Berkeley.
Miss Black taught at Denair High School for 36 years, retiring in 1976.
She was a member of the Denair Missionary Church for 50 years before joining the Turlock Evangelical Free Church in Turlock. She was active in Christian work all of her adult life.
She is survived by one niece, Dr. Deanna Sharpe of Missouri; one grand-niece, Pam Domecq of Sacramento; and one grand-nephew, Allen Domecq of Modesto. She was preceded in death by her brother, Marvin Lee Black of Missouri and two nephews, Ross Domecq and Gary Domecq.
The family would like to thank the staff at Turlock Nursing and Rehab for their excellent care for Berniece and her family.
A graveside service will be held at 11am on Saturday, April 29 at Denair Cemetery.