Bernice Arsenault
Bernice Arsenault
Bernice Arsenault

Obituary of Bernice Alma Lydia Arsenault

Bernice Arsenault died peacefully on July 14, 2023. She was 101 (“and 1/2” she’d like to say) years old. 

Bernice Alma Lydia Neubauer was the first-born child to 2rd generation German immigrant parents, Paul and Alma Neubauer, in the middle of a blizzard on December 14th, 1921, in Sherwood, North Dakota. Sherwood was, and still is, a small farming community about 2 miles from the Canadian border. She attended Sherwood public schools for 12 years, was co-valedictorian her senior year and graduated in 1940. That was quite an accomplishment then,  since the ongoing tasks of a subsistence farm always took precedence over school attendance. 

After graduation, she worked as the assistant post-mistress of the Sherwood post office from 1941-1945. Work hours were variable as they were dependent on the erratic arrival of the train carrying the mail. In 1945 she began her 2 years service with the Women's Army Corps (WAC), Medical Division. She had three months of training at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia and her first assignment was at Bushnell General Hospital, Brigham City, Utah. Her second assignment was Beaumont General in El Paso, Texas. She worked predominantly with World War II veteran amputees, post-surgery recovery. 

After a brief return to Sherwood, she moved to Rapid City, South Dakota with her sister, Addie, who had a job there. Bernice found work as an accounts receivable clerk for Puritan Oil Company. It was here in Rapid City where she met her husband to be, Francis (Frank) Arsenault. He was stationed at Rapid City Air Force Base; Bernice and Addie often attended musical events that were held on the base. She and Frank met dancing. The way she told the story, they danced for a whole year before she knew his name. Frank was discharged January 1949 and they were married July 12, 1949 in Sherwood. 

After their marriage, they moved to the East Coast where Frank had grown up, to Danielson, Connecticut to be close to Frank's family. Kathleen was born there in 1950. Soon after, they moved to the Boston area so Frank could attend Bentley School of Accounting on the GI Bill. Richard was born in 1954, and in the summer of 1958 they moved to Kensington, Maryland because Frank was transferred to the DC office of Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. accounting firm. Janet was born there in 1960. Another job transfer took them to Littleton, Colorado summer of 1961, where Bernice has resided for the last 62 years. 

Shortly after their move, the family became members of Ascension Lutheran Church. Bernice was very involved in Christian education, serving as a Sunday School teacher, and after a two-year training program, an adult educator of the Bethel Series. She served as the chair of the Education Committee. 

She and Frank, with a few other members, were instrumental in the conception of a Columbarium at Ascension as a modern equivalent of a churchyard cemetery. She was an active and vocal committee member, seeing the process through to completion in August of 2005. Her memorial will be held in the garden she helped inspire and create.  

She loved music and sang in the Ascension choir for 20 years. 

Bernice was the first woman on the Ascension Lutheran Council, the governing board of Ascension. She was also the first woman to attend, as a representative of the Ascension congregation, the District Convention of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. In addition, she served as a committee member of Lutheran Social Services. 

Lastly, Bernice's own listing of her "Loves in Life”: 

First and foremost - Faith, Family, Friends. 



Dancing - ballroom with Frank 




Bernice was preceded in death by her brothers David Neubauer and Ed “Butch” Beck; sisters Eleanor Neubauer and Mabel Buhler; and sister Adelaide (Addie) Vig earlier this year.  She is survived by Kathy Arsenault; Rick and Frances Arsenault ; Jan Arsenault and Janet Graham; 4 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; and her dearest friend, Jackie Skiles. Bernice also leaves behind three of Frank’s siblings and many loving nieces and nephews both Neubauer and Arsenault. 

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 11 am in the Columbarium Garden at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1701 W. Caley, Littleton, Colorado 80120. 

The family is indebted to Dignity Hospice for their exceptional care for Bernice. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Dignity Hospice. They have an unrestricted fund to provide niceties and necessities to patients, including funding hospice care for uninsured persons. Dignity Hospice, 400 East 84th Ave, Suite W-202, Thornton, Colorado  80229. 


Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, September 9, 2023
Ascension Lutheran Church
1701 W. Caley
Littleton, Colorado, United States
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