Bernice F. Schmitz


Bernice Frances (Determan) Schmitz was born on August 5, 1937, in Sauk Centre, MN to Bernard and Mary (Ecklund) Determan. Bernice grew up in St. Paul, MN and was confirmed at St. Paul Cathedral. She was involved in many activities during high school and was always an over achiever. Bernice was proud to have graduated from Harding High School. After high school, she enlisted in the Marine Corp serving in administration. She was married in 1957 and was blessed with 4 children, Steven, Patrick, Katherine, and David Gwinn.

Bernice met Orville in 1965 and they were married on October 16, 1965, in Waite Park, MN. The couple was blessed with 3 more children, Daniel, Kelly, and Chad. The family moved to Alexandria, MN where Bernice started working at Alex Extrusion in 1972 in administration before becoming the executive director. She retired in 1998 and Bernice and Orville began travelling to Texas over the winters which they continued to do until 2023. The family has great memories of many camping trips and going snowmobiling and golfing together.

Active in the community is an understatement when it comes to describing Bernice. She volunteered at the hospital, churches, nursing homes, with Meals on Wheels, and was an advocate for women who were diagnosed with cancer. Bernice was Madam President of the Eagles Club, the activities director for the retirement home in Texas, and was involved in many other volunteer and community activities. She was known to send a card to each one of her family members and several friends on every holiday. She had an immense love for her family and a good sense of humor. Bernice had a silly side to her, loved to laugh, and absolutely hated birds and wooden spoons. She will be dearly missed.

Bernice Frances (Determan) Schmitz died on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at the Galeon in Osakis at the age of 85. She is survived by her husband, Orville; children, Patrick Gwinn, Katherine Gwinn, David (Jody) Gwinn, Daniel (Shannon) Schmitz, Kelly (Bob) Nielsen, and Chad (Nova) Schmitz; 27 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; brother, Gene (Bev) Determan; and by several nieces and nephews. Bernice is preceded in death by her parents; son, Steven Gwinn; granddaughter, Madison Gwinn; and sisters, Phyllis Pettit and Carolyn Scott.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Entombment will be at St. Mary’s Mausoleum.

Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory.

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