April 28, 1934 - July 17, 2010
Bernice Marie Elia of Walla Walla passed away on July 17, 2010, at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. She was born on April 28,1934, to Frank H. and Madeline (Ponti) Talarico, first generation Americans born of Italian immigrants. She was a lifelong member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Bernice attended and graduated from St. Patrick's Catholic School. After graduation she began working at the Walla Walla Gardener's Association. She continued her work career at Rogers Walla Walla cannery and her last post was as assistant controller at Whitman College. She married Frank T. Elia (Fritz) on Sept. 15, 1957. They raised two children, Michael and Susan. Bernice had many roles in her life: among them daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, godmother, colleague, mentor and friend. She will always be remembered as a center for her family. She was proud of her Italian heritage and was able to recall in remarkable fashion each relative and the relationships to the family (there are a lot of them). She was a kind friend to many, rarely missed a DeSales event, and always made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. Bernice was concerned about everyone else first, and was most happy when her family was around her and had eaten a good meal.
Bernice is survived by her husband of 53 years, Fritz Elia; her children, Michael (and Maureen) Elia of Boise, Idaho, and Susan (and Brian) Gosline of Spokane; her grandchildren, K.C., Natalie and Anthony Gosline, and Noah, Daniel and Joseph Elia; her nieces, Charissa and Angela Talarico; sister-in-law, Cindy Talarico Arnesen, and many relatives from the Elia, Ponti and Talarico families.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Frank H. Talarico, Jr.
There will be a Rosary at Herring Groseclose Funeral Home at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 22, 2010. Viewing and visitation will begin at noon Thursday, July 22, through the Rosary. The Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 23, at St. Francis Catholic Church, by Father Patrick Kerst, celebrant. Burial will follow the Mass at Mountain View Cemetery, and a reception will be held in the St. Francis Hall to celebrate her life.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Bernice's favorite causes, Walla Walla Catholic Schools or St. Francis Church through Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA.