Order Flowers

Sr. Bernice Ewals

August 26, 1918 - April 30, 2010


5-7:00 p.m. Monday, May 3 in the Sacred Heart Convent Chapel, Fargo.

10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 4 in the Riverview Place Chapel, Fargo.

Prayer Service:

7:15 p.m. Monday, May 3 in the Sacred Heart Convent Chapel, Fargo.

Funeral Service:

11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 4 in the Riverview Place Chapel, Fargo.


Holy Cross North Cemetery, Fargo.


Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.

Sr. Bernice Ewals

August 26, 1918 - April 30, 2010


Sister Bernice Ewals, 92, died  April 30, 2010 at Sacred Heart Convent, Fargo, ND.  Bernice Claudia Ewals was born August 26, 1918 in New Rockford, the fourth of the 12 children of Antonetta and Henry Ewals.  She attended a rural school for the first five grades.  After her family moved from their farm to New Rockford¸ Bernice and her brothers and sisters went to St. James Academy in New Rockford where they were taught by the Presentation Sisters.

Bernice entered the Presentation Order of Sisters in 1935 and received the name, Sister Mary Thomas. In the late 1960s, she returned to her baptismal name of Bernice. She made profession of final vows in 1941 and was blessed to celebrate her silver, golden, diamond and platinum anniversaries of profession.

S. Bernice earned a baccalaureate degree with a major English, and minors in Latin, mathematics, and history from what is now North Dakota State University and a master’s degree in administration from Marquette University.  She taught at St. Mary’s and St. Anthony’s grade schools in Fargo and at St. Alphonsus High School in Langdon, St. James High School in New Rockford and at Sacred Heart Academy/Shanley High School in Fargo.  She was principal of the latter school from 1958 to 1963.

A woman of many talents, S. Bernice, after teaching for 38 years, became a certified medical record technician and worked for 10 years at Villa Maria Nursing Home in Fargo.  She also served as a consultant in medical records for a number of other nursing homes.  She was also an administrative assistant at Shanley High School and did a brief stint selling the World Book Encyclopedia.  For two years she was activities director at Riverview Place.  In 1990 she retired but continued to teach ceramics classes, visit the sick and elderly,  and do clerical work in the Presentation Foundation Office until  poor health forced her to discontinue these various activities. From 1961 to 1963, in addition to her other ministries,  she served in congregational administration.

Sister Bernice is survived by the members of her religious community, by a sister, Terry Berthiaume, St. Louis Park, MN, and a brother Merton (Helen ), Pilot Mound, IA.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Agnes and Marguerite, and her brothers Raymond, Donald, Robert, Norbert, Edward, Herbert, and Cletus.


Comments are not displayed until approved by a member of our staff.

0 responses to “Sr. Bernice Ewals”

  1. Tom McMullen says:

    Osseo MN
    Such a special educator of young men, and then a friend. Her view now with the angels will allow her to see her speech training is being put to use as lector in our parish. She was always a part of the class of ’53, she attended as many of our class events as her time allowed. She attended my mother’s funeral and told me to be “the rock” for the rest of the family. I remember my last visit with her when she admitted to me that God must want her to see the future and not rememer the past. I only marvel at the education-more than just books – from Sr. Mary Thomas/Sr. Bernice Ewals and the many other Sisters that devoted their lives to the education of students at St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart/Shanley. God Bless, Tom

  2. Dale Moe says:

    Corsicana TXA very giving lady. St. Thomas will be missed. She was an inspiration to many.

  3. Megan Jenrich says:

    Tarzana CAAfter looking through a LARGE family tree, I figured out that I am Sister Bernice’s great, great, niece. While I didn’t know Sister Bernice very well since our branch of the family is so far away, her annual Christmas cards were always such a treat! It is so great to learn about her and the wonderful influence she had on everyone she met. I know that there is someone in heaven looking out for me as I begin my own teaching career.

  4. Marilyn Weber Gonrowski and Gerry says:

    Plymouth MN
    My husband Gerry and I graduated from Shanley in the class of 1954.

    What I remember most about Sr. Thomas is her big smile. She was always in charge but very approachable.

    I often think of the days at Shanley and what a wonderful education and high spirited school and class we had.

    Gerry and I will keep her in our prayers and hearts forever. It was our good fortune to have her as our teacher.

    Fly with the angels Sister.

    Marily and Gerry

  5. Don and Renae Lau says:

    Wenatchee Wa.Sister Mary Thomas was one of the most special teachers and an outstanding individual.

  6. Lisa Schwinden says:

    Fargo ND
    Sr. Bernice always had a smile on her face at lunch at the convent. I was always touched that she wore some of the clothes that were donated that were my grandmas. Rest in Peace Sr. Bernice.

  7. Thomas Albert says:

    Washington DCMy first reaction to hearing the news that Sr. Bernice (she’ll always be Sr. Thomas to me!) died was, “I’ll bet mom and dad are happy to have her ‘up there’ with them, because they both loved that wonderful woman. She was so many great things….a teacher, a mentor, a friend…. to so many people, but she was also such a special friend to our family. I loved her style! (Even though. I appreciated it more when I was no longer a student at St. Mary’s and Shanley and under her watchful eye 🙂
    Her’s is a life to celebrate for all that she accomplished and for the positive effect she had on countless people that were fortunate enough to have benefited from her guidance, wit, humor and love.

    Tom Albert SHS 1961

  8. Mary Ann Albert says:

    St. Cloud MN
    God bless dear Sr. Thomas/Sr. Bernice.

    I was lucky to have had her as my teacher during my student years at Shanley. She was a skilled professional and we respected her. In more recent years, she “volunteered” at Riverview Place. When my mother was living at Riverview Place, Sr. Thomas showed my mother great kindness in mother’s declining years. Her assistance and friendship to my mother will never be forgotten. Sr. Thomas/Sr. Bernice was a true Christian woman and is now at peace with her God.

  9. Scott Carter says:

    Fargo ND
    God truly has another angel. Godspeed Sister Bernice.

  10. Arlys Carter says:

    Lisbon ND
    Rest in Peace

  11. Betsy Olsen Meskimen says:

    Corvallis OregonI have fond memories of Sister Thomas running around with her habit tucked back to keep out of the glue and ink while we worked on the school magazine. She was a wonderful teacher and a magnificent human being.

  12. Ken & Joyce Matthys says:

    Salem ORSister Bernice was probably our favorite teacher during our years at Shanley High School, and she became a good friend after we graduated (1953 & 1954). Her energy and enthusiasm for life and the way she continued to expand her horizons even after retirement, set an example for all of us to follow.

  13. John R. McLaughlin says:

    Fargo ND
    I was sad to read Sunday’s paper…a wonderful tribute here and a picture that is great…always greeted you even at end when she would recognize your face and relay a story.

    Sister Bernice taught my Dad, Ray and Uncle Jack McLaughlin(Uncle Jack in 5th grade at St. Mary’s) She was Principal At Shanley before I started there in ’68.

    She was a great lady with the Presentation Sisters and will be missed.

  14. Neil Shurts says:

    Aurora ColoradoOne of the best.

  15. Leo Collins says:

    Plymouth mnSister Thomas was one of the best teachers that I ever had. She was a very talented lady and was able to explain Geometry in a way that all of us could understand. She knew how to deal with students and was sucessful in all the many fields
    that she entered. She was very well respected and loved by the students at Shanley and will be deeply missed. I was priviledged to be able to have her as my teacher and a wonderful friend of our family.

  16. Mark Joraanstad says:

    Peoria AZ
    I will always remember my nine years at Shanley during the 1980’s and the wonderful relationship I had with Sister Bernice as she helped run the school. She was part of a great team of Presentation Sisters who helped make Shanley a wonderful place–Sister Marie Phillip, Sister Rosaria, Sister Anne, Sister Rita.

    Mark Joraanstad

  17. donald kercher says:

    Fargo ND
    Thank you for your years of service to education and people.

  18. Stella Crary Bridgeford says:

    Detroit Lakes, Mn Sister Bernice, Was a special woman in my life.. She taught me during my HS years and also went on to help my mom and dad Vince and Helen Crary as they started the Villa Maria.. I remember hearing from my parents how very much help and support Sr Bernice was to my parents. She was a wonderful woman, teacher and friend.

    Stella Crary Bridgeford

  19. Tom Fischer says:

    Fargo ND
    Shanley Class of 1963

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *