Bernice Arlene Owen King

On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, Bernice Arlene Owen King, a dedicated, strong woman, passed away in her home in Lawrence, KS at the impressive age of 92.

She was born on September 22, 1928 in Emporia, KS, the daughter of Howard W. and Grace Ater Owen.

Bernice was a smart, hardworking woman, a graduate of Emporia High School and Salt City Business College in Hutchinson, KS.

She married David Mervin King on June 11, 1950 in Emporia, KS. He preceded her in death on June 6, 1993.

Bernice and Dave had a true partnership both as wife and husband and as business partners. She is survived by their daughter, Elizabeth Ann (and son-in-law Harold) Pearce, whom she loved dearly, and who came into the world on October 15, 1951.

Bernice loved her work and found great purpose in it. Together with her husband, she owned and built David M. King & Associates, a financial planning firm, in Hays, KS. They provided a strong foundation and a lasting legacy that would create opportunities for her family, her colleagues, and the thousands of clients who found financial security through their shared work. After Dave passed away, she continued to work at the company until 2017, retiring at age 88.

She was a woman of faith and acceptance, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence and the Order of the Eastern Star in Hays, KS.

She loved her family deeply. She moved her home and her business to Lawrence, KS in 1989 to be closer to them. She could often be found down at the soccer fields, bravely risking her new hairdo in the Kansas winds to take in a game of one of her grandkids. She adored attending their performances and events and was an avid theater-goer throughout her life.

She is survived by her grandchildren Jonathan Day (Liz) Pearce, Tyler Thurman (Maria) Pearce, Lauren McQueen Gulliver Pearce, Adam David (Tyla Fowler) Pearce, Nicholas Harold (Carissa Orth) Pearce; her great-grandchildren Trygve Pearce and Aiden Pearce; her sister Lila Heath; nephews Larry (Xuan) Pearson, Don (Ellen) Heath, and Brian Heath; nieces Jan Pearson, Sharon (Gary) Gordon, and Jeri Erskine, as well as a great number of grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and cousins, all of whom knew her affectionately as Aunt Bea.

Bernice was also preceded in death by sister Lela Pearson. nephew Les Pearson, and niece Teri Hunt (survived by her husband James).

No services are scheduled at this time. A family burial will happen at a later time.

Memorial contributions may be made in Bernice’s name to Shriners Hospitals for Children, a cause close to her heart, and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.


11 Condolences

  1. Cathy Wilcox on March 30, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    Dear Liz…I enjoyed seeing your mom at the Ex-Hay’s luncheons. It’s so hard to lose a mom, no matter what the circumstances. Prayers for your strength and peace with her passing. Cathy Wilcox

  2. Martha Fankhauser on March 30, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Thankful our Price family and yours are connected and that our parents were close. Bernice was always a part of our life. She was blessed to be closer to you in Lawrence and to have your love and caring at the end. Sending our condolences and prayers for your dear family. Love, Martie Fankhauser – Tucson.

  3. Dave and Ruth Heffel on March 30, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Wonderful tribute to your mother. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her. She and your father are together again.

  4. Sandy Winstead Hadley on March 30, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Bernice was like a Mom/Grandmother to me. I had the pleasure of working with her at the firm for 6 years before she retired. I loved her dearly and she will always have a special place in my heart. She will be missed and remembered fondly by all who knew her and loved her. Sending prayers to you all. God Bless.

  5. Jeri on March 30, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    I so appreciated the stories she told of growing up close to the railroad tracks, the schools, and how different it was from today. Your mom and dad were true treasures.

  6. Don Heath on March 30, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    Every birthday until I was married – a card with two crisp new dollar bills.

    She personified my idea of class. What little class i have was inspired by Aunt Bea!

    So much love, acceptance, and class! Live you Aunt Bea!

  7. Don Heath on March 30, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    Hen heh, darn autofill!
    Love you, Aunt Bea

  8. Laura Saryerwinnie on March 31, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Liz, I can’t.say enough how sorry I am that you have lost your sweet mother. My parents loved your parents so much, my Mom especially loved your Mom. Such great stories she told about trips with your folks. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  9. bo newsom on March 31, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Enjoyed your friendship when we were neighbors, Berniece. Rest in peace, Bo

  10. Charles Tuttle on April 1, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    Condolences for the family & friends who carry cherished memories of Faith, Hope
    & Love demonstrated by Bernice. I’m sure your lives will continue to form a family heritage of these virtues.

  11. Carolee Little on April 7, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Dear Liz–my heart goes out to you, as I truly know how hard it is to lose a parent. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers in this difficult time period. You were so special to open your home to her, and the memories will be with you!! Deepest sympathies!!

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