Winthrop resident Berniece Westendorf, age 96, died peacefully on Oct. 18, 2021, with two of her children at her side. Berniece (Brandon) Westendorf was born in 1925 in Buhl, Idaho. She married her husband, Richard Westendorf, in 1943, after which Richard served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific. After the war, as veterans with farming experience, they benefited from a late homestead opening in southern Idaho, and they began their farming lives north of Rupert. They raised row crops, cattle, and three children. They retired from farming to Twin Falls.
Richard passed away in 1999 and Berniece, having outlived most of her friends and family in Idaho, moved to Winthrop 10 years ago to be near her daughter Lynette and son-in-law Richard Hart. Berniece joined the Methow Valley United Methodist church and made many friends. She was well-loved in her condo community. She was an avid reader and supported the building of the new library in Winthrop. Berniece was very active, and could be seen walking through the meadow behind her condo in Winthrop, or down the hill to the post office just two weeks before her passing.
As a farm wife, Berniece was a superb gardener, and a creative cook and baker. She could drive farm equipment and was the family’s handyman. She once rescued an injured great horned owl chick and nursed it back to health. She nursed a near-frozen baby calf back to health in a basket in her kitchen. She shot magpies because they destroyed the pheasant nests. Berniece was a good golfer, an expert seamstress, an amateur painter in water color and oil, and a loving, no-nonsense, and generous mother and grandmother. She played bridge and solved difficult crossword puzzles.
She is survived by her three children, Lynette Westendorf from Winthrop, Roger Westendorf from Aurora, Oregon, and David Westendorf from San Clemente, California. She has seven grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandson. There will be no service, and the family has requested, if you so choose, to honor her memory with contributions to the new Winthrop public library, AeroMethow Rescue Service, or the Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster.