Tilda "Berniece" Bryant Collett, 90, of Norman, died July 7, 2014. She was born December 7, 1923 in Wanette, Oklahoma.
She is survived by her three children, Larry Gordon Collett of Fortuna, Missouri, Wilma Louise Collett Rachal of Norman, Oklahoma, and Kenneth Gilbert Collett of Olive Branch, Mississippi; five grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Collett was preceded in death by her former husband, Lawrence Gordon Collett; father, M. Frank Bryant; mother, Kathryn "Katie" Malvina Gribble Cummings; and the stepfather that raised her, Christopher "Cade" Columbus Cummings; sister, Flora Bell Bryant Grissom; half-brother, Robert "Bob" Lee Cummings.
Berniece grew up in Wanette, Corbett, Sulphur and Washington, Oklahoma. She loved helping her stepfather, Cade "Dad" in his grocery stores. She was a super-seamstress and made all her dresses with/without patterns. Her love of making tailored shirts for Larry, gorgeous dresses for Wilma complete with slips, can-cans, and even white linen jackets. Berniece made matching dresses for her and Wilma plus doll dresses while teaching Wilma to iron.
Berniece met Gordon thru her girlfriend, Alta Collett. Gordon was smitten with her pretty blue eyes, her flaming red hair, her adorable dimples and cute little freckles on her nose and cheeks. They dated two years and Gordon proposed to Berniece one Sunday while on a "Fried Chicken" picnic in Sulphur. They were engaged six months and were married December 7, 1941 on her 18th Birthday. At the wedding reception, they were told of Pearl Harbor bombing. From then on Gordon always said, "Two wars started that day and one is still going on." Berniece graduated from high school and she attended a number of night college courses at the University of Oklahoma. She was evening Supervisor of PBX Switchboards at OU until the dial system came in the summer of 1956. She worked a number of years at University Cleaners before deciding to become a beautician, then Beauty College Instructor in Hollywood Shopping Center.
Berniece and Gordon's house was "the" place to go for fantastic Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Gordon always brought at least one police officer home with him every Sunday for dinner and of course, Larry, Wilma and Kenneth brought their friends. Yes, Berniece loved to cook and sew plus be a devoted wife and loving mother. She was an avid reader and would stay up late at night ironing and reading her Bible until early morning came.
Services will be 2:30 PM Friday at Immanual Baptist Church in Norman with burial at Norman IOOF Cemetery. Visitation will be 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM Thursday. The family will receive friends 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Thursday.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Primrose Funeral Service. For on-line condolences and memorials, visit primrosefuneralservice.com