Bernice D. Olk, age 92 of Clintonville, passed away Monday evening, November 23, 2020 at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton; of a COVID-19 related illness.
Bernice was born in rural Stockbridge, WI on February 15, 1928, the daughter of Adam P. and Mary E. Durben. Having lost her father a few months before she was born, Bernice grew up with her mother, two sisters and extended family on her grandparent’s farm near Stockbridge, WI during the depression. She was a 1945 graduate of Chilton High School, attended the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in Home Economics and Education. She started work as a Home Economics teacher that summer at Clintonville Senior High School. She married James H. Olk on June 9, 1951 at St. Rose Catholic Church; together they raised five children. He preceded her in death in 2016. She was active in the church and community, having served on both the St. Rose Altar Society and Parish Council. Bernice served as secretary of the Clintonville Public Library Board for 25 years. She was instrumental in the fundraising efforts, design and building of the new community library completed in 1992. She was honored for these 25 years of service by Governor Scott McCallum in a proclamation issued in 2002. She was a true role model and person of faith to those who knew her, always putting others first and selflessly giving of herself to each of her children and husband their entire lives.
She is survived by her children: Frederick J. Olk, Des Plaines, IL; Elizabeth O. (Andrew) Borchardt, Wautoma; Stephen J. Olk, Appleton; Dr. Douglas G. (Marilyn) Olk, Dubuque, IA; & William R. Olk, Clintonville
Grandchildren: Gregory A. Olk, Mason City, IA; Rachel R. Olk, Minneapolis, MN; & Michael J. Olk, Ames, IA
Sisters: Dorothy Peplinski, Pulaski & Bernadette (Clarence) Bittner, Reedsburg
Many nieces & nephews
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, James “Jay” H. Olk and her brother in law Norbert Peplinski.
A private memorial mass will be held at St. Rose Catholic Church, Friday, December 4, 2020 with the Fr. Timothy Shillcox O. Praem officiating. Inurnment will take place following the service at St. Rose Catholic Cemetery, Clintonville.
The family would like to thank the staff of Greentree Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, Clintonville, Ascension Medical Group, and St. Elizabeth’s hospital for the care given to Bernice during her stay and most recent illness. Memorials in Bernice’s name are preferred to be directed to St. Rose Parish, Clintonville.
The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory, Clintonville is assisting the family with the arrangements.
An online guestbook is available at eberhardtstevenson.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bernice D. (Durben) Olk, please visit our floral store.