Bernice Marie Vopalensky

Female 1920 - 2009  (88 years)


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  • Name Bernice Marie Vopalensky 
    Born 25 Dec 1920  Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    1930 US Census 1930  Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Ancestry.com
      Bernice Vopalensky
      Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Morse Bluff, Saunders, Nebraska; Roll: 1292; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 25; Image: 860.0; FHL microfilm: 2341027.
    1940 US Census 1940  Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Ancestry.com
      Bernice Vopalensky
      Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Morse Bluff, Saunders, Nebraska; Roll: T627_2263; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 78-26.
    Newspaper - Stories 3 Feb 2003 
    • FremontTribune.com -
      Historic Morse Bluff fountain shines again
      It was on the main street for so long, it was almost invisible.

      The fountain was a mainstay of Morse Bluff, having stood at its post for almost 90 years. If it could talk, the stories this fountain could tell would contain much of the history of Morse Bluff.

      The old fountain had to be moved last summer when the ground it sat on started sinking. Everyone knew it could not be thrown away, so it has been refurbished, restored and hopefully will regain its place of importance in Morse Bluff this summer. The players in this story are many, and their motive is united - to maintain this piece of history of the little town in northwest Saunders County.

      Steve and Ted Minarick operate their business, Bluff Gravel Company, out of Morse Bluff. When culvert work had to be done around the post office, the Minaricks had to move the cast iron fountain before they could do anything.

      "We had to move it with a forklift," Steve Minarick said. "It is extremely heavy."

      The Minaricks did not know what to do with the fountain, so they took it to their shop on the edge of Morse Bluff. Members of the community did not want it disposed of, but no one had a good proposal as to what to do with it. The Minaricks sandblasted it, painted it silver and put it on a fresh cement base. Now it sits near their shop on Ann Street.

      "We're waiting until spring to decide on a permanent place," Minarick said.

      Bernice Robertson was born, raised and has spent most of her life in Morse Bluff, helping write the Morse Bluff history book for its 1987 centennial celebration. The fountain has been part of her history, too.

      Robertson said the Bank of Morse Bluff had been in that block since it was incorporated in 1891. In 1910, the wooden bank building was sold to be moved and the present brick building was built, with the fountain added soon thereafter. Books at the Platte Valley Bank in North Bend, the descendant of Morse Bluff Bank, show a record of the old building being sold, but no mention of the new building nor the fountain, so an exact date on the fountain could not be found.

      "The water system was installed in Morse Bluff in 1908," Robertson said. "So I figure the fountain was added shortly after the bank was built."

      Robertson remembers there was a bench under a tree near the fountain.

      "When I was young," the 82-year-old Robertson said, "that was the place to meet. On a hot summer day when I was a kid, we would go there to get a drink and rest on the bench."

      Robertson said the bank closed voluntarily Jan. 4, 1932, to reorganize and reopened in August. In 1934, the bank moved its principle place of business to North Bend and in 1942 the Morse Bluff Bank closed. In 1946, James Vopalensky, Robertson's father, bought the former bank building to use as the Morse Bluff Post Office. Robertson's husband, Raleigh, later became postmaster. In 1968, Raleigh was having trouble with young people taking mouthfuls of water from the fountain and spitting it into the outside mailbox. He requested that the water in the fountain be turned off, and the city complied.

      Robertson remembers the fountain being green and white. There was a porcelain sink that faced the bank with a valve for people to get a drink of water. The excess water would drain into basins. One large basin opposite the porcelain sink at the same height was for horses, and smaller basins on either side of the base were for the cats and dogs of the community.

      "The porcelain bowl would be taken down by Halloween," Robertson remembers. "But it would be back every spring.

      Rose Nesladek, 92, remembers the fountain always being there and being blue.

      Ray Stranik remembers the fountain red with white scrollwork. Stranik grew up in Morse Bluff, starting first grade in 1939.

      "I remember drinking out of it lots of times," Stranik said.

      Robertson thought the horse trough was removed when there were no longer horses in town, in the 1920s. Stranik said his dad and brothers tore down the old blacksmith shop in Morse Bluff around 1946 and found the basin.

      "We didn't know what it was," Stranik said. "It was cast iron, about three-quarters of an inch thick. We took it out to my brother Louis' farm. He used it to hold salt for his cattle. It had to be made out of real good material; salt corrodes, but it did not seem to affect this basin."

      Stranik saw a picture of the fountain in the Morse Bluff history book and realized what he had. Word got around and when the Minaricks were starting the refurbishing, he offered the basin/trough to them.

      "I told them I'd give it to the city," Stranik said. "Anybody else would have to buy it."

      There is a lot of history in the little town of Morse Bluff, and the restoration of this fountain is another example of the citizens' pride in their community.

      Copyright 2011 FremontTribune.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Newspaper - Stories 3 Sep 2003 
    • FremontTribune.com -
      The small Morse Bluff Elementary that began in 1869 as District 14 is closing its doors this year
      By Mary Le Arneal
      William Gladstone, a British statesman, said, "You cannot fight against the future. Time is on its side."

      Such is the dilemma faced by the citizens of Morse Bluff, a town of 134 on the northern edge of Saunders County. After nearly 134 years, their school — once an independent district — will close its doors.

      From its beginnings as District No. 14 in 1869, the school had become a feeder school for North Bend Central High School. Morse Bluff Elementary now is a site for North Bend Central Public Schools elementary students — one class each of second and third grade and two classes of fourth grade. But the district is centralizing all its elementary students into a newly expanded school in North Bend.

      Formed in 1869, District No. 14 has been housed in three buildings, the present one having served the district since 1924. The corner stone was dedicated Sept. 25, 1923, and in the spring of 1924 more than 80 pupils and four teachers moved into the brick two-story building at Third and Maude streets.

      Bernice Vopalensky Robertson started school in the new building in the fall of 1924. She was only 4, but her parents had a special reason to start her so young.

      "I only spoke Czech," Robertson said. "The primary school teacher could speak Czech as well as English and would not be returning the next year, so my parents thought it would be helpful to get me in her class. They figured I would take kindergarten over, but I never did. Now I don't ever remember not speaking English."

      There are four classrooms upstairs. In 1924, primary grades — kindergarten, first and second — were in the southeast corner room. The northeast room held the third, fourth and fifth graders. The upper elementary grades — six through eight — were in the northwest room. In the southwest room were the high school students, grades nine and ten.

      The curriculum for ninth and tenth grades was added in 1900, with the students going to Fremont, North Bend or Linwood high schools if they wanted to complete the last two years of high school.

      Downstairs were the bathrooms, a janitor's closet and play areas, one for the big kids and one for the little kids. There was a door in the boys' bathroom that led to the basement with the furnace/boiler room.

      "When it was built, there was a little pipe in the big play room," Robertson said. "It held a rope that went to the tower where the bell was."

      In 1932, a stage was built in the large play area so the students could have their programs there instead of walking across the street to the Z.B.C.J. Hall.

      "It was a really cold walk for the Christmas program," Robertson said. "We didn't have other programs until we got our own stage."

      Robertson, who still maintains her home in Morse Bluff, has good memories of her time in the town school. She remembers friends, special teachers, programs, track meets, and softball games.

      There were teams — basketball, baseball, track and tennis — bearing the Morse Bluff Cardinal red banner. The teams practiced in the school yard, though the basketball team did practice in a room above a downtown garage when the weather did not permit them to be outside. Robertson said there were about 20 in the high school when she was in school and they would compete against other ten-grade schools in Saunders County.

      She received her normal training at North Bend High School and eventually graduated from college and taught for many years, retiring in 1983.

      "We never had snow days. The teachers lived in town and every one lived within three miles of the school, I only lived two blocks from school. Most of us walked to school, but in really cold weather the country kids would be brought to school by buckboard and a team of horses."

      The Morse Bluff School stopped offering ninth and tenth grade in 1952, with most of the students going to North Bend after eighth grade.

      Marvin Hines, along with Keith Racek and Mary Ann Feala, made up that final tenth-grade class. By the time they were in school, the numbers were about half of what they were in Robertson's day.

      "When I was at Morse Bluff," Hines recalled, "there were three teachers — one high school and two elementary. At the time I started there was no kindergarten, but I think it started soon thereafter. I still remember my first day of school. Vlasta Kavan was my first teacher, the year after that Mable Stranik was my teacher."

      Hines revisited the school recently, going down to the lower level, to what he remembered as the janitor room. It is filled with 20 computers today.

      "This used to be just stuffed with junk," Hines said.

      He remembers the big playroom where today's students are served a hot lunch.

      "We didn't have any hot lunches," Hines said. "It was just brown bag or dinner pails. As a rule we ate in the little room over there (the present day teachers lounge). About a third of the students were from town, they all went home to eat. We sat on fold-down benches, no tables; you just held your pail in your lap. There was never a teacher in there at noontime; you just had to get along."

      They went outside to play at recess if at all possible, Hines remembered. If it rained, they would play inside, unsupervised — unless it got too loud.

      Upstairs, Hines pointed to the two rooms on the east as the elementary rooms. There is a hallway between them that now houses the school library.

      "There was a fence in the middle of the hall, the little kids hung their coats on one side, dinner pails underneath. Older elementary on the other side. The hallway to the north, was high school. That was about all the segregation there was."

      The classrooms the teachers now have brightly decorated for the first weeks of school are not at all as Hines remembers.

      "We just had rows of desks, the teacher's desk in the corner. There were probably four rows and each row was one grade."

      There were usually five to six in each grade in Hines' day. The population would vary with the children from railroad workers coming and going.

      Between the north classrooms is a smaller room, used today for special education. In Hines' schooldays this was the library.

      "There were shelves all along the walls filled with books," he said. "I think the books were antique even then. But I remember the Hardy Boys books, Nancy Drew and encyclopedias."

      In the intermediate room was the fifth through eighth grades, around 15-18 students. The high school was in the southwest room. The northwest room was a spare room.

      "There were some ping pong tables in there with folding chairs, so if you had projects you could just leave them out."

      Hines said the high school room didn't look anything like it does today.

      "It was really bleak back then," he said. "There were ninth and tenth graders in the room, but we could as well have been one grade. They would teach all the kids the same thing. We all took algebra together and then something else the next year."

      Hines particularly remembered having pictures of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln hanging in the high school room. In times of boredom, the students would pitch pieces of chalk behind the pictures.

      "One time we had a patrons' day," Hines said with a chuckle, "and all the parents were here visiting. While we were displaying our talents, the chalk finally rattled down, kicked out the bottom of the picture and all the chalk dribbled out. That was not a high spot — my dad remembered that until the year he died."

      Up a few steps, over the entryway, is today's teacher office. Hines remembered it as a place you went to lie down if you got sick. The high school teacher was the principal and had the principal desk up there.

      During recess, the little ones played on the west side with a slide and other playground equipment. The big kids played on the east side.

      "We played softball mostly, the baseball would fly too far," Hines said. "The big boys, and girls — the girls were tough then — they played ball, too. They were sluggers just like the guys. We used to play other schools at the grade school level — track meets and softball games. One time District 54 came to play a game, but they were two short of a team. So we gave them two of ours and had a game."

      Hines graduated from North Bend Central in 1954 and attended college for two years and then went to work. He started farming on the family farm two and a quarter miles from the Morse Bluff School in 1959. He now has a grandson, Austin, in fourth grade.

      "I always knew it would close with all the budget cuts," Hines said. "I thought it would last a few more years, but I guess its time has come. It was a good school, but hopefully the kids are moving on to something better."

      Copyright 2011 FremontTribune.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Death Civil State 2009  Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Notes 2009 
    • Bernice (Vopalensky) Robertson, Morse Bluff, Jan. 20, 2009, age 88
      Bernice M. Robertson died at her Morse Bluff home on Jan. 20, 2008.
      Bernice was born Christmas day, Dec. 25, 1920, to James and Marie (Vasina) Vopalensky of Morse Bluff. She was a 1938 graduate of North Bend High School and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Wayne State Teachers College. Bernice taught school at numerous schools in the North Bend and Scribner area. She was the media specialist at North Bend Central High School from 1970 until retiring in 1983.
      Bernice was a member of the North Bend United Presbyterian Church, serving as a teacher and superintendent of the Sunday School, active in the church ladies organization; American Legion Auxiliary of Post 340 of Morse Bluff, VFW Auxiliary of Post 8223 of North Bend; Eastern Nebraska, Saunders County and the Nebraska State Genealogical Society; Saunders County Historical Society; Nebraska State Historical Society and Nebraska League of Postmasters Auxiliary, Nebraska Branch.
      On June 19, 1944, Bernice married Raleigh R. Robertson at Marysville, Kan. He died Feb. 1, 2001.
      Survivors include son George J. (Karen) Robertson of Mead; daughters Mary Jo (Donald) Bosworth of Morse Bluff, Nancy Wagner of Lincoln; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
      The funeral was Jan. 24 at the United Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Maetta Snyder officiating. A family committal service was held at Memorial Cemetery in Fremont prior to the church service.
      Memorials are suggested for the North Bend Public Library Building Fund.
      Published Jan. 28, 2009 North Bend Eagle
    Buried 2009  CEMETERY Memorial Cemetery, Fremont, Dodge County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Social Security Number 20 Jan 2009  Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    508-38-4239 
    • Ancestry.com
      Social Security Death Index
      Name: Bernice Marie Robertson
      SSN: 508-38-4239
      Last Residence: 68648 Morse Bluff, Saunders, Nebraska, United States of America
      Born: 25 Dec 1920
      Died: 20 Jan 2009
      State (Year) SSN issued: Nebraska (1951)
    Died 20 Jan 2009  Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Newspaper - Obituary 22 Jan 2009  Fremont, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • FremontTribune.com -
      Bernice M. Robertson, 88, of Morse Bluff died Tuesday,

      Jan. 20, 2009, at her home.

      She was born Dec. 25, 1920, in Morse Bluff to James and Marie (Vasina) Vopalensky. She was a 1938 graduate of North Bend High School and received her bachelor of arts degree in education from Wayne State Teachers College. She taught school at numerous schools in the North Bend and Scribner area. She was the media specialist at North Bend Central High School from 1970 until retiring in 1983. She also was an artist and enjoyed painting.

      She married Raleigh R. Robertson on June 19, 1944, in Marysville, Kan. He died Feb. 1, 2001.

      She was a member of United Presbyterian Church in North Bend, was a former Sunday school teacher and superintendent, and was active in the church ladies organizations. She was a member of American Legion Auxiliary Post 340 of Morse Bluff, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 8223 of North Bend, and the Eastern Nebraska, Saunders County and Nebraska State Genealogical Society. She also was a member of the Saunders County Historical Society, Nebraska Historical Society and Nebraska League of Postmasters Auxiliary, the Nebraska branch.

      Survivors include: a son, George J. (and wife, Karen) Robertson of Mead; two daughters, Mary Jo (and husband, Donald) Bosworth of Morse Bluff and Nancy Wagner of Lincoln; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

      She also was preceded in death by her parents.

      The funeral will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at United Presbyterian Church in North Bend with the Rev. Maetta Snyder officiating. Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Friday at Moser Memorial Chapel in North Bend with the family receiving friends from 5-8 p.m. A family committal service will take place at Memorial Cemetery in Fremont prior to the service at the church.

      A memorial has been established to the North Bend Public Library Fund.

      Online condolences may be left at www.mosermemorialchapels.com.

      Copyright 2011 FremontTribune.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Newspaper - Obituary 28 Jan 2009 
    • http://northbendeagle.com/obit.html
      North Bend Eagle

      Bernice (Vopalensky) Robertson, Morse Bluff, Jan. 20, 2009, age 88
      Bernice M. Robertson died at her Morse Bluff home on Jan. 20, 2008.
      Bernice was born Christmas day, Dec. 25, 1920, to James and Marie (Vasina) Vopalensky of Morse Bluff. She was a 1938 graduate of North Bend High School and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Wayne State Teachers College. Bernice taught school at numerous schools in the North Bend and Scribner area. She was the media specialist at North Bend Central High School from 1970 until retiring in 1983.
      Bernice was a member of the North Bend United Presbyterian Church, serving as a teacher and superintendent of the Sunday School, active in the church ladies organization; American Legion Auxiliary of Post 340 of Morse Bluff, VFW Auxiliary of Post 8223 of North Bend; Eastern Nebraska, Saunders County and the Nebraska State Genealogical Society; Saunders County Historical Society; Nebraska State Historical Society and Nebraska League of Postmasters Auxiliary, Nebraska Branch.
      On June 19, 1944, Bernice married Raleigh R. Robertson at Marysville, Kan. He died Feb. 1, 2001.
      Survivors include son George J. (Karen) Robertson of Mead; daughters Mary Jo (Donald) Bosworth of Morse Bluff, Nancy Wagner of Lincoln; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
      The funeral was Jan. 24 at the United Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Maetta Snyder officiating. A family committal service was held at Memorial Cemetery in Fremont prior to the church service.
      Memorials are suggested for the North Bend Public Library Building Fund.
      Published Jan. 28, 2009
    Custom ID Vopalensky Fa61 
    Person ID I2035  Czech
    Last Modified 26 Sep 2016 

    Father James Vopalensky,   b. 28 Sep 1896, Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Apr 1996, Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 99 years) 
    Mother Marie Caroline Vasina,   b. 4 Sep 1898, Prague, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Oct 1973, Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Married 8 Jan 1920  York, York County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F692  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Raleigh Rudolph Robertson,   b. 22 Mar 1917, Pleasant Valley, Dodge County, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Feb 2001, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Married 19 Jun 1944  Marysville, Kansas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. George J Robertson
     2. Mary Jo Robertson
     3. Nancy Robertson
    Last Modified 15 Jun 2009 
    Family ID F1879  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 25 Dec 1920 - Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google Maps1930 US Census - 1930 - Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google Maps1940 US Census - 1940 - Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 19 Jun 1944 - Marysville, Kansas, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath Civil State - 2009 - Nebraska, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 2009 - CEMETERY Memorial Cemetery, Fremont, Dodge County, Nebraska, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsSocial Security Number - 508-38-4239 - 20 Jan 2009 - Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 20 Jan 2009 - Morse Bluff, Saunders County, Nebraska, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Histories
    Bo_1983_SaundersCountyNebraska_BeranekHakelKavanVopalensky
    Bo_1983_SaundersCountyNebraska_BeranekHakelKavanVopalensky

  • Sources 
    1. [S351] CENSUS USA 1930.

    2. [S238] STATE INDEX Death - Nebraska - Not Indexed.

    3. [S470] CEMETERY Memorial Cemetery, Fremont, Dodge County, Nebraska, USA.

    4. [S170] USA Social Securtiy Death Index.