Bernice Mitchell Howze was born the first of nine children to Andrew and Lela Mitchell on January 5, 1931, near French Camp (Choctaw County), Mississippi. Her parents preceded her in death. Bernice was 2 years old when her parents relocated from Mississippi to Chicago. She received her formal education in the Chicago’s public schools; Edward Jenner Elementary and Waller High School. She confessed Christ at an early age and later redirected her life to Christ and was baptized at First Church of the Brethren Chicago in the 1970’s. She remained a member until her death.
Bernice married at a young age to the late Lindsey Jones, Jr. in 1947. To this union five children were born; Lindsey (Jack) III, Richard (preceded her in death), Larry (preceded her in death), Anthony (preceded her in death) and Timothy.
On June 6, 1981, Bernice married the late Clarence C. Howze and became the stepmother to five children; Booker Cunningham and Onita Howze-Stewart, as well as the late Clarence Jr., Edwin and Tyrone Howze.
After 42 years of hard work Bernice retired in June 1992. Bernice once had a passion for painting and decorating her house every year! She loved Bid Whist, dancing and enjoying friends and family. One of her greatest past time which gave her serenity, was going fishing with her late husband Clarence.
She endured a lot of mental pain through hardships of life, suffering and loss. Through it all she kept it moving! Ruby Archibald (Bernice’s neighbor of almost 50 years) often told her she was a tenacious and strong individual.
You could always get a good conversation going with her when talking about her family. Bernice loved her family so much!
Besides the love for her family, Bernice had 2 lifelong best friends who were dear to her:
Lillian Fielder - best friends until Lillian’s death of 54 years.
Aszie (Freckles) Simpson - best friends until Freckle’s death of 58 years.
Bernice enjoyed traveling and having fun with family. She especially loved traveling to North Carolina and Georgia. She often said that one day she will relocate to North Carolina. On Monday, April 15, 2019; at approximately 10:48 am, Bernice went home to be with the Lord. She made her transition in North Carolina. Bernice was surrounded by many family members. She held on long enough to hear her grandson Zambesi’s voice, who flew in to be by her bed side.
Bernice was preceded in death by her two brothers: (Marvin) Wayne and Terry; two brothers-in-laws; John Olive and Louis (Joe) Elzy, Jr.; one sister, Lela Mitchell; sister-in-law, Rose Mitchell.
She leaves to cherish her memories: two sons, Lindsey (Jack) Jones III and Timothy L. Jones; two stepchildren, Booker Cunningham and Onita Howze-Stewart; 9 grandchildren, Renée Williams (George), Kim Jones, James Jones, Michael Jones, Andrea Jones, Antwon Johnson, Keisha Wallace, Zambesi Wallace and Andrew Jones; three sisters, Doris Scott, Marie Olive and (Alice) Lynn Elzy; two brothers, Andrew and Thomas (Betty); sister-in-law, Colleen Mitchell and a host of great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
A very special thanks goes to Josephine Jones, Betty Mitchell and Anna (Bonnie) Watson.