Berneice McMichael Bruch

August 26, 1915 - January 8, 2018

Berneice was born on August 26, 1915 in Canton, Oklahoma and passed away on January 8, 2018 in Pacific Grove, California. She came from a family of Scottish, Irish, and English pioneers who migrated to and helped build Western Oklahoma. Her grandfather, Harry McCormick, ran in the Oklahoma Land Rush and staked his home claim in Canton. He was a carpenter and was instrumental in the building of Canton. Berneice’s mother Hazel was Harry McCormick’s daughter. She married George McMichael and they lived in Canton for many years where George served as City Judge. From her birth until she was 10 years old, Berneice had no surviving brothers, sisters, or cousins even though she had 8 aunts or uncles because all the other family children died of early childhood diseases or the World War One influenza epidemic which killed her younger sister Elaine and brother Winton. Luckily her brother Tom, and several cousins were born after the epidemic. Berneice loved music and got her first piano when she was in the 8th grade. She was very talented. She played the piano for her churches, family occasions, a dance studio, and for various professional and service organizations. In fact in her high school years, she played the organ in a silent movie theater. She graduated from Canton High School where she was a favorite cheerleader. After a year in Southwestern University Teachers College, Berneice married her high school sweetheart, Alvin Bruch, in May 1937. They lived in the US Gypsum company town of Southard, Oklahoma. They had one child Linda (1940) while in Southard before they moved to Midwest City, Oklahoma where Virginia (1947) and Debbie (1955) were born. They moved again to Okmulgee, Oklahoma in 1963 where Berneice was an elementary school teacher for 20 years. She also played the piano at the Methodist church, the Lions Club, and Sunday School classes. After Alvin’s death, Berneice moved to Monterey, California for her health and to be near her children and their families in 2013. She is survived by her brother, Tom McMichael, who lives in Norman, OK; and daughters Linda Sheffield, Ginny Staggers, 5 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. Her husband, Alvin and her youngest daughter, Debbie Bruch Jahns, preceded Berneice in death.

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