Agnes Bernice GruberMarch 26, 1929 ~ June 23, 2017 (age 88)
Agnes Bernice Gruber
Agnes “Bernice” Gruber, 88, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her family and friends as she took the start of her journey to head home. Bernice was born in Toronto, Ontario on March 26, 1929 to Mae and John Eugene “Patsy” Gallagher. She had two sisters, Rita and Betty, and one brother, Jack. Rita married Tom Hughes and had three children Jimmy, Paul, and Evelyn. Her sister Betty passed at a young age. Her brother Jack married Rita. Bernice enjoyed growing up in the “City” of Toronto and spoke fondly of the time she spent with her family and friends on the Island where her friends owned a home by Lake Ontario. Bernice and her friends enjoyed going to dances that they would attend regularly. During her time in Toronto, Bernice honed her lifelong skills as an artist in oil painting which she carried with her throughout her life even painting and taking art classes towards the end of her life. Bernice and her family attended Holy Name Catholic Parish in Toronto where she was baptized and attended school. It was during one of these enjoyable friend events that Bernice met James (Jim) Gruber from Eaton Rapids, Michigan, her future husband. Bernice met Jim when he was asked to escort her at weekend events in South Bend, Indiana. Bernice and Jim spent a long holiday weekend together enjoying various events. The holiday was described by Jim as somewhat magical and he felt she was the person he would marry. He knew she was the right one when they parted on one of their dates in Toronto and he looked back to see her crying when he left. He proposed to her shortly after that and they were married on June 7, 1958 in Toronto. Employment circumstances brought Jim and Bernice to Denver, Colorado where they worked together to build one of the first homes in the Southwood section of Littleton, finding what would be their lifelong home on Cottonwood, Ave., in Littleton. Their home, built in 1958, was almost immediately populated by the sound of a crying baby when James (Vincent) Gruber was born one year later, on October 27, 1959. In the neighborhood around them, Bernice and Jim enjoyed the friendship of many neighbors and colleagues from Jim’s work at Martin-Marietta. They often had bridge parties in which their friends would come and enjoy themselves and compete in that team card game. Very shortly there came two other beautiful boys, Jeffery (Jeff) Allen Gruber, born May 23, 1962 and Steven (Steve) Patrick Gruber, born November 14, 1963. Bernice’s life was filled with all the things that make family’s strong including church, school, endless sporting events, camping, and conversation. Bernice simply loved to talk to her family and friends and the house was frequently filled with people coming and going and always talking about everything under the sun. During this time, Bernice continued to paint, winning awards for some of her paintings. One of her most amazing skills was when she would set up an easel and paint multiple small, postcard-sized oil paintings for family and friends which she would send out at Christmas time. Many family members and friends keep these small paintings in frames around their houses. While being primarily a mother, Bernice also worked as a Secretary for the city of Littleton. She also worked as a Secretary for Littleton Public Schools and at Lorretta Heights College. Bernice also took the time to attain her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services from Metropolitan State College. She was one of the older students to graduate in 1977, but she was so proud of her accomplishment and her focus in Human Services reflected her dedication to helping people. Bernice often spent endless hours attending to disadvantaged women or homeless people through volunteer work with the church and social service organizations she worked with. Bernice’s children grew to have families of their own and brought to her the great joys of grandchildren. Vince married his wife Lori and had two sons, Connor and Wyatt (the twins). Jeff married Valerie and had daughter Jamie and stepson Diamon. Steve, who departed tragically and prematurely in an accident, was married to Simone who he met in Brazil. Steve and Simone brought to Bernice the daughters Bernice often spoke of wishing she had and together with Simone after Steve’s death, Bernice and Jim help raised Issa Nicole and Ashley Mae. At a time when most married couples might be out participating in retirement, Bernice and Jim dedicated themselves to helping raise the two girls, in a sense enjoying the beauty of raising a second family.
Bernice will be remembered by family and friends during a Rosary and viewing at Bullock Mortuary (1375 E. Hampden Avenue, Englewood, CO 80113) on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 at 6:00PM. Her funeral will take place at All Soul’s Church (4950 S Logan St, Englewood, CO 80113) at 10:00AM on Thursday, June 29th, 2017. Bernice will be interred at Littleton Cemetery (6155 South Prince Street, Littleton, Colorado 80120) near Steve’s grave. Bernice wished that people wanting to send flowers instead send donations to All Soul’s Food Bank in her name as she felt that it was her wish even in her passing that she could continue to help those in need. The Gruber family then invites everyone to come and celebrate Bernice’s life after her funeral at All Soul’s Church where we will have a gathering.
Family and friends are encourages to share stories and photographs of Bernice here on her website (click appropriate tab on the left side of this page).