POPLAR RIDGE — Bernice Gifford Talcott, 98, of Poplar Ridge, died at her home on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.
Mrs. Talcott was born in Masonville, N.Y., to Stephen and Nellie (Olmstead) Gifford on May 28, 1919. A graduate of Bainbridge Central High School and the Lowell School of Business in Binghamton, N.Y., she was employed as a secretary by the Borden Co., Bendix Aviation, New Berlin Bank, and Cornell University. She was the bookkeeper for Ashland Farm for 25 years and was also a front desk clerk and gift shop manager at the Aurora Inn. Over several moves and many years, she was the co-owner of a poultry farm and three dairy farms.
An enthusiastic traveler, an avid reader, and a longtime member of the Roundabout Book Club, she was also a gardener, a dancer (Cayuga Cut-Ups), an antique furniture restorer, a talented seamstress, and a professional-quality baker of pies and most famously, her doughnuts. She was an active member in her church, a Sunday school teacher, and the vice president and president of the United Methodist Women. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and the president of the Farm Bureau Kitchen Konference. She had great affection and concern for all animals, big and small. As beautiful as she was intelligent, she was crowned Miss Bainbridge in 1935.
Bernice delighted in her large family. Her children and her numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren will miss her sense of humor, her warmth, and her gentle kindness. She was blessed to be married to her high school sweetheart and adoring husband, the late Ralph Talcott, for 74 years.
She is survived by her six children: Lucille Demmings (Richard), of Brighton, Mich., Richard Talcott (Kathleen), of Poplar Ridge, Lola Rejman (Jack), of Venice Center, Rosemary Lacey (Dennis), of Aurora, Gail Reynolds (David), of Aurora, and Lisa Gaylor (Douglas), of Shrub Oak; 16 grandchildren: Martin, Matthew, and Michael Demmings, Stephen and Christopher Talcott, Jackie Avner, Daniel, Gregory, and Neil Rejman, Monica Hastings and Rachel DeBois, Natalie, Luke, and Nicholas Reynolds, and Cassandra and Logan Gaylor; 31 great-grandchildren.
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She was predeceased by her sister, Naomi Gifford Wackford.
Bernice’s family thanks her long-term caregivers for their compassionate love and friendship.
Donations would be welcomed in Bernice’s name to Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, 2900 N. Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607 https://donate.lovetotherescue.org, the Auburn United Methodist Church, or your local no-kill animal shelter.
Friends may call from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, in the Auburn United Methodist Church, 99 South St., Auburn. The funeral service will follow at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Richelle Goff officiating.
Arrangements are with White Chapel Funeral Home Inc., 197 South St., Auburn.