March 18, 1928 - April 6, 2024


attachment-Bernice Carlson

Bernice Helen Carlson, 96 year old resident of Bowlus, passed away on Saturday, April 6 at Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Little Falls. A Memorial Mass will be held on Tuesday, April 30 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Bowlus with Father Gregory Sauer officiating. Visitation will be held from 10:00 A.M. until the hour of the service. The burial will be held in the parish cemetery.

She was born on March 18, 1928, in Harding, MN, to Albert John O’Hotto and Margaret Mary (Hoppe) O’Hotto. She was also known as Auntie, Aunt “B” and Aunt Bert. Bernice’s life was filled with remarkable experiences and accomplishments. At the age of 14, she ventured to North Dakota to pick potatoes, beginning her journey of hard work and determination. By 16, she was operating elevators at JC Penneys in the Minneapolis area, and at 18, she joined Honeywell, where she contributed to the production of thermostats and military electronics. Her career allowed her to purchase a home on Lake Minnetonka, where she resided until 1983. Bernice then moved to Bowlus, Minnesota, and founded the B&B Café, a beloved establishment in the community. She was a woman of many talents and interests. Bernice had a passion for music, playing in bands during her youth and entertaining others with her harmonica skills at Diamond Willow. She was an adventurous traveler, exploring the country by plane, bus, and her conversion van. In her younger days, she excelled at snowmobiling and even won several trophies in races from the early 1970s. Gardening brought her immense joy, and her meticulous care for her lawn and garden was admired by all, including the residents and staff at Diamond Willow. It was said leaves, weeds and dandelions were afraid to come into her yard.

Bernice will be dearly missed by her niece, Kay Collins of Lincoln, CA; her nephew and wife, Rod and Deanna O’Hotto of Hillman, MN; special friends Kathy and Gene Bechtold of the rural Bowlus area; numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews; as well as the staff and residents of Diamond Willow.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Margaret O’Hotto; brothers, Reinhart, Donald, Harold, Eugene, and Robert; sisters, Evelyn, Madelyn and Janet.

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