Obituary for Bernice Backus

Bernice Backus, age 94, passed away peacefully June 1. She was born August 22, 1924 to Clarence and Arvilla (Brinkman) Guldan at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield. She and her two younger sisters and brother grew up on a farm near Rozellville, Wisconsin. Her father died at a young age of tuberculosis. Bernice and her siblings were sent twice to Sanatoriums which was standard treatment at the time for exposure to tuberculosis.

In addition to raising her family, Bernice often worked outside the home. Her work history included as a nursing assistant at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Weinbrenner Shoes (Marshfield), Hamilton Beach (Racine) and Figi’s Corporation (Marshfield). During World War II she moved to San Francisco where she helped build warships. Bernice very much loved her family and long-lasting friends. She liked spending her time camping, dancing, playing cards and politics.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her step-dad (William Wenzel), her mother and father-in-law (Adolf and Anna), her first husband (Cecil Jones), her second husband (Lloyd Backus) and her longtime companion (Bob Lewer), sister Margie Higgins (Gordie), brother Don Guldan (Lou), brother-in-law DuWayne Hein, sister-in-law Maude Frank (Adolf), brother-in-law Orlin Backus (Grace), sister-in-law Jan Anderson (Jim), sister-in-law Joan Seubert (Bob).

She is survived by her sons Jerry (Barb) (Davenport, Florida) and Ken (Madison), her granddaughters Gina Backus (Terry Rindfleisch) (Wausau), Jerra Backus (Marshfield), her great grandsons Eric Ratsch (Alayna) (Marshfield), Aaron Ratsch(Green Bay) and her sister Betty Hein (Marshfield) and numerous nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.

Special thanks to the staff at Cedar Rail Retirement Community, where she resided for 20 years, Atrium Senior Care and Heartland Hospice.

A memorial service will be held for Bernice on Saturday, June 29 at Rembs Funeral Home (300 South Oak Avenue, visitation at 10 AM, ceremony at 11 AM followed by burial at Hillside Cemetery. Lunch will follow at Eagle’s Club (1104 South Oak Avenue).

Condolences may be sent online at

News Desk
Author: News Desk