Bernice Frances Selberg, who at 103 years of age, was the oldest living Navy WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) achieving the rank of pharmacist’s mate second class, passed away peacefully on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at her son Tom Selberg’s home in Hayden, Idaho.
At 99, Bernice was quoted in Fleet Reserve Association Magazine with typical humor: “WAVES” meant “women are very essential sometimes.” Bernice moved to Sandpoint in 1967, with her husband LeRoy Selberg in 1967, following LeRoy’s retirement as a U.S. Navy Lieutenant after extensive service in World War II, Korea and Italy. Both Bernice and LeRoy (“Red” as he was known to friends and family) honored their time in the military as the “best of their lives.”
Bernice is an alumnus from University of California, Berkeley. It was often said that she “took every college course in Northern Idaho,” where she not only loved learning but enjoyed the fellowship of people of all ages and disciplines.
Her many hobbies included military and American history, reading and study of varied subjects including mathematics, foreign languages, horticulture, animal protection and sanctuary, and sewing. Bernice was a lifelong devotee to the Catholic Church, at one time considering entering service with the church, when World War II called her to naval service.
She was an enthusiastic volunteer at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church until 2016 participating in the Altar Society, the Soup Kitchen, Legion of Mary, and other activities. Denise Lassen remembers Bernice’s service to the church as “unique, a friend to all people, and the best peanut butter and jelly maker ever.”
Bernice reunites with her husband LeRoy, who pre-deceased her on July 25, 2006.
Bernice is survived by her sons, Tom and his wife Jean of Hayden, Idaho; John (Commander, USN, Ret; M.A.) and his wife Jan, J.D.) of San Diego, California; three grandchildren, Kurt Selberg M.S., DVM, M.S. Diplomate American College of Veterinary Radiologists, and his wife Katie Seabaugh, M.S., DVM diplomate American Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons, and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation of Fort Collins, Colorado; Julia Grace Selberg (B.S.) San Diego, California; John Anton (Jack) Selberg, Santa Cruz, California (M.S. Ph.D.); two great-grandchildren, Calder Lee Selberg and Beckett Clare Selberg of Fort Collins, Colorado; and niece Sharon Selberg of Sandpoint.
Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with Father Dennis C. Day officiating.
The Vigil/Rosary will be said at 7 p.m., Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Interment will take place in Pinecrest Memorial Park.
Family and friends are invited to sign Bernice’s online guest book at coffeltfuneral.com.
Arrangements are under the care of Coffelt Funeral Service of Sandpoint.