Bernadine Joy (Ferrell) Vandenbos

Bernadine ended her battle with breast cancer peacefully in her home alongside her family on Friday, October 08, 2010.

She spent her life in the Valley Falls and Topeka areas as a mother, community and family leader, correctional officer and traveler.

She was born in the Dutch community of Lakeview, South Dakota, to the parents of Olive (McGinnis) and William Vandenbos and moved to the farming community of Valley Falls, KS at age 8. During these formative years, she learned the importance of family, community, education and music that would be key contributors to her life’s journey on helping and influencing others.

After graduating from Valley Falls High School in 1948, she married and started her life as a mother and grandmother where she is survived by her children: Vicki and Larry Buening, Topeka, KS; Dr. Linda Ferrell and Richard Tombari, San Francisco, CA; Joy Ferrell-Lyon and Rick Lyon, St. Joseph, MO; Scot and Anna Ferrell, Castro Valley, CA; grandchildren: Lindsey Buening Harding (Michael), Jason Buening, and Kayla Ferrell; great-granddaughter: Ciera Harding; and brother: Lee Vandenbos of Lenexa, KS. She was also surrogate mother and grandmother to nieces, Julie Ferrell -Thompson, Anchorage, AK and children: Rosalind, Rachel and Nathan Thompson; Jena Johnson, Americus, KS; and daughter Brandy Bolz. She is also survived by her former husband, Marvin G. Ferrell of Topeka.

Bernadine was a contributor in the Valley Falls community where she was a youth group leader for the Brownies, Girl Scouts and Camp Fire Girls and taught Red Cross swimming lessons as manager of the Kendall Memorial Swimming Pool in Valley Falls for 11 years. She later would be a leader in the advancement of women in the workplace and become a mentor for many in the Shawnee County Department of Corrections.

She returned to college and received her degree in Corrections from Washburn University in 1977. She became the first woman recipient of the Special Grant as an Omsbudsman for the Kansas Department of Corrections at the Maximum Security Prison in Lansing, KS. She then worked 17 years as Adult Probation Officer with the Shawnee County Department of Corrections in Topeka and was one of the first women leaders in this role.

After retirement she spent her time traveling the world, enjoying family, following Kansas University basketball, telling her humorous life stories, gardening and painting. She recently enjoyed extended family and friends celebrating her 80th birthday. She will be remembered by all those who knew her and received her guidance.

Interment of cremains in Valley Falls Cemetery at 10:00 AM, Friday, October 15, 2010. Memorial services will be at 2:30 PM, Friday, October 15, 2010, at St. David’s Episcopal Church, S.W. 17th and Gage, Topeka. Penwell-Gabel Parker-Price Chapel is assisting the family.

Donations can be made to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Shawnee County, 501 SE Jefferson, Ste. 2002, Topeka, KS 66607 or any cancer organization of your choice in the name of Bernadine. To leave a special message for the family online, visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com.

Paid obituary

Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=2136

Posted by on Oct 16 2010. Filed under Obituaries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

Recently Commented