Bernice “Bernie” Siems: staying active means doing different things

Bernie Siems Pride of Place Elgin Nebraska
Bernie Siems
Bernie Siems Pride of Place Elgin Nebraska
Bernie Siems

Special to the Elgin Review
Q – Why live here?
A – “I really like Elgin. It’s just a friendly community.”
Without hesitation, that’s the word from Bernice “Bernie” Siems who readily admitted big city living is just not her thing. “I like a small town,” she said from her well-appointed home of 18-plus years just east of downtown.
Before that, she and husband, Warren, farmed just outside of town. Due to what she describes as “health issues,” they rented a place in town beginning in 1993, moved to Texas for a couple of years to help a family member, and then put down roots where she currently resides.
She married Warren in 1954. They celebrated 58 years together until his death in 2012. “They said it would never last,” she said, wistfully glancing at one of the eagles in his collection. She was 17 years old; he was 23. “They married young back then,” she said. And, she reported, unlike her, “he was old enough to know better.”
Their four children, two boys and two girls, all attended school in Elgin and all but one live in Nebraska. She also has 12 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren which she said she doesn’t get to see as often as she would like.
Warren and Bernie were together constantly, she said. “Field work, chores. He taught me how to drive a car,” and she adds how wonderful it was for her to be with her life partner twenty-four-seven.
Often seen around town, Bernie said, “I like being out and about. I like doing things.” An active member of the Elgin United Methodist Church, her pride and joy is the ability to encourage interdenominational conversation. For eight years, she’s hosted the Tuesday/Thursday coffee group at the Methodist church. Community members gather around 8:00 am, often greeted with a sweet treat she’s baked. She cleans up when everyone leaves, generally around 10:00 am. To read the complete story, turn to this weeks Elgin Review.