Virginia Bernhisel

Virginia Bernhisel

Birth
Logan, Cache County, Utah, USA
Death 1 Feb 2015 (aged 86)
Logan, Cache County, Utah, USA
Burial Lewiston, Cache County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 142169478 · View Source
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Our nation lost a great servant on Sunday morning February 1st. Former Lieutenant Colonel Virginia Bernhisel died peacefully in Logan, Cache County, Utah. Virginia was 86 years old. She was a retired Air Force Officer and at one time was the highest ranking woman in the military from Utah. Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, Harris and Marie Bernhisel, her older brother Ted (Theodore), her sister Betty and her lifelong friend Barbara Williams. She is survived by brothers Harry (Harris) and Jay. She is also survived by her great friend KC Cote and many nieces, nephews and their children and grandchildren.
Virginia was the 4th child and second daughter of Harris Fay and Marie America (Beirdneau) Bernhisel. Virginia was born on February 12th, 1928 in Logan, Utah.
Virginia was raised a farm girl. Her parents owned a partially irrigated farm near the Idaho state line north of Lewiston, Utah. They raised sugar beets, hay and livestock. Virginia learned the value of hard work but never loved the farm life. She and her older sister Betty would often hoe sugar beets, and the two of them would sometimes dream that a soda fountain waited for them at the end of the long dusty row. The Bernhisel children worked hard but also enjoyed many of the things their small town had to offer: playing in the hay barn, swimming in the ditches and canals and having lots of family and cousins around.
Virginia graduated from North Cache High School in 1946 and attended Utah State University in Logan. She graduated in 1950 and was hired to teach high school in Randolph, Utah near Bear Lake. She taught English, yearbook and PE in the small high school, but quickly realized that teaching was not for her and quit after one year.
After leaving the classroom, she briefly worked as a Naval Base librarian in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and then decided to enlist in the United States Air Force. During her military career she was stationed in places as far away as San Antonio, Texas; Wiesbaden, Germany and the Pentagon.
While at the Pentagon, she worked as an administrative assistant for several of the Air Force “Brass”. She would often help them prepare for meetings with members of congress or the President. Her duties included budgeting, planning troop numbers and serving as a liaison with the other branches of the military and civilian groups. Her military career spanned all of the Korean War as well as much of the Vietnam War.
Her military career was exemplary. Although her responsibilities were varied, she most enjoyed working as a recruiter and supporter of women in the military. She was instrumental in getting women’s ROTC programs started at several universities. She would often speak to women’s groups in colleges about a potential Air Force Career. She spoke highly of the personal growth and opportunities to travel the Air Force provided her.
After 20 years in the Air Force, Virginia retired from active service as a Lieutenant Colonel and retired to San Rafael, California. She and her two great friends KC and Barbara purchased a home there, and remained in the Bay area for nearly 40 years.
Virginia spent her retirement doing many of the things she most loved: reading, traveling (to places like Japan, China, and all over Europe) collecting souvenirs from her travels, golfing, skiing, and participating in dog shows. Being in her home was like being in a great museum. She had dolls, paintings and collectables from all over the world. Virginia loved to decorate for the holidays. Her collection of Christmas decorations and stuffed animals was legendary.
Virginia was a woman of great culture. She loved the symphony, art galleries and fine chocolate. While travelling she loved to take in the history, food and the culture. She would never pass up an opportunity to have “high tea” while in England.
She spent the last few years of her life in Logan to be closer to her younger brother Jay and all her family in Utah.
She is fondly remembered by her many nieces and nephews. She took an active interest in their lives and made a point of sending birthday and Christmas gifts to them no matter what remote part of the globe she was living in at the time.
A graveside service will be held at the Lewiston, Utah Cemetery on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 11:00 AM. Arrangements are under the direction of Allen Mortuary of North Logan. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.allenmortuaries.net



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  • Created by: Kelly Howell
  • Added: 3 Feb 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 142169478
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Virginia Bernhisel (12 Feb 1928–1 Feb 2015), Find a Grave Memorial no. 142169478, citing Lewiston City Cemetery, Lewiston, Cache County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Kelly Howell (contributor 47798985) .