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Shirley Bernice Rymer

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Shirley Bernice Rymer, 85, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, while surrounded by her family.

Bernice was born on June 27, 1937, to Prady and Zelphie Bowman in the Hendon community of Bledsoe County.

After her family relocated to Hixson during her youth, she graduated from Hixson High School. While in high school, Bernice developed a passion for basketball, playing on the school’s varsity team.

Later, she coached a young girls' basketball team in Cleveland.

In her senior year of high school, she was voted “Most Athletic” and received the Babe Ruth Award as a testament to her love for basketball. After graduating, she married Dale Rymer on June 1, 1956.

Happily married for 66 years until her last breath, Dale and Bernice resided together on their farm in Bradley County. Together, the couple created a hospitable home filled with constant love, laughter and freshly baked meals for family, friends and farm hands.

In addition to cooking her famous recipes, Bernice used her hands to grow gardens, sew and crochet elaborate designs and give the best hugs.

She enthusiastically worked with her children in dairy cattle shows and additional 4-H events within the area.

Bernice was a faithful member at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church for years while devoting her life to the Lord. She enjoyed teaching in both Sunday school and Bible school for many years. Dale attributes much of his success as a dairy farmer to having such a devoted, steadfast helpmate in his precious Bernice.

Bernice was preceded in death by her parents, Prady and Zelphie Bowman; and her sister Corene Roberson. In addition to her children and grandchildren, she is survived by her sisters Wilma Rylander and Jerline Fugatt.

Together, Bernice and Dale welcomed five wonderful children and their spouses, in order of birth: James Rymer (Karen), Paul Rymer (Susan), Mike Rymer (Michelle), Carol Vaughn and Sam Rymer (Cheryl).

Bernice was affectionately known as “Granny” to 14 grandchildren, including Brian, Jason, Heather, Jeremy, Cherie, Adrian, Dylan, Savannah, Analise, Josh, Tyler, Britt, Victoria and Joseph. She was also a great-grandmother to 15.

A true Proverbs 31 woman, Bernice truly embodied this verse, which reads as follows: “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”

Our lives are forever impacted by Granny Bernice and her heart of love. We look with earnest expectation to our reunion with her in heaven.

A Remembrance of Life service will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, with the Rev. Joe Brooks and the Rev. Steve Huff officiating.

The interment will follow at the church cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday at Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services, North Ocoee Street Chapel, and from 2 to the 3 p.m. service Saturday at the church. 

The family requests that in memory of Bernice, family and friends can make donations to Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.

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