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Bernice Priest

January 13, 1932 - August 12, 2021

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Mrs. Bernice Lavera Gerler Priest, age 89, of Augusta, GA, beloved mother of Joy Morris, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on August 12, 2021. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Priest on November 20, 1988 after 37 years of marriage; her parents, Bernahard and Lona Doberenz Gerler; brother, George Gerler; sister, Dorothy Bachmann. Bernice was born in Friedenberg, Missouri, on January 13, 1932. She grew up in a large family with 6 siblings. She is survived by four: Norma Seward, Ruby Kramer, Maxine Coursey, Leo Gerler. In addition to her daughter Joy, Bernice is survived by her granddaughter, Melinda Lee Sanders (Gregg); grandson, Michael John Morris (Amanda); two great grandsons, Lucas & Jacob Sanders; numerous nieces, nephews, greats, and godchildren. Bernice was baptized on February 1932 at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, Missouri. In April of 1946, She was confirmed in her faith at Trinity Lutheran Church in Shawneetown, Missouri. In 1950, Bernice moved to Augusta, GA as a young adult and met the love of her life, Jack Edward Priest. She joined Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in 1951. She remained an active faithful member for over 60 years and was lovingly known as “Mama Priest”. Bernice cherished her church family and was quick to serve others wherever and whenever she was needed. Throughout her life, one of her greatest joys was taking care of children and sharing the Gospel with all of them. Her desire was that every person know the love of Jesus. Bernice was a Sunday School Teacher, member of the Choir, Altar Guild, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Quilters, kitchen helper, photographer, and was involved in several Bible studies. Bernice was quick to help people who were homebound, in the hospital, or in nursing homes. She never wanted anyone to feel alone and showed compassion to everyone. The legacy of Christ’s Love that she leaves behind is immeasurable. Bernice was adventurous, always up for a road trip and enjoyed an annual beach getaway with her niece, and 3 dear friends. She was an amazing seamstress and loved to Crochet. Bernice loved lunch dates at Olive Garden and Sticky Fingers with her daughter Joy. Time spent with others was precious to her. Mom, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother, Great grandmother, Godmother to many, Mama Priest, B, dear friend and most especially known as a child of God, Bernice, now is with Jesus her Savior in Heaven. The family will receive loved ones on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church at 402 Aumond Road in Augusta GA from 12noon-1:30pm. The funeral service will follow at 2pm. Interment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery. For those unable to attend, you may view her Funeral at or at the Church’s Facebook page. The family requests that masks be worn by those coming in person and areas for social distancing will be available. Pallbearers include: Craig Steedley, Dean Niehoff, Robert Lack, Norm Diebold, Billy Jowers, Gary Stroebel In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church General Fund or the ORLC Quilters at 402 Aumond Road, Augusta, GA 30909. Thomas L. King Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.
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