Bernice Sonnek, age 96, of Wells, MN, died Friday, September 18, 2020 at Heartland Senior Living-Parkview Care Center in Wells. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 10:30 AM at St. Casimir Catholic Church in Wells, MN with Father Greg Havel and Deacon Gene Paul officiating.  Public visitation will be Monday, September 21, 2020 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells, MN, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery in Wells, MN.  Face masks must be worn and social distancing will be observed.

Bernice Lois was born September 14, 1924 in Vivian Township, Waseca Co., MN, the daughter of Edgar and Mable (Buschow) Bathke. Bernice graduated from Wells High School in 1942 and from Teachers Training in 1943.  She taught 3 years in District #25 known as The Rice Lake school.  On September 21, 1950, Bernice married Joseph “Joey” Sonnek at St. Casimir Catholic Church in Wells.  After their marriage Bernice became manager of a Sears Catalog Order Desk and was later employed at the Red Owl grocery store.  In 1953, Bernice and Joe moved to the Sonnek family farm where they lived and raised their six children.  Bernice was an active, faithful member of St. Casimir Catholic Church, the St. James Circle and rosary society.  She had been an adult 4-H leader for many years.  She enjoyed doing volunteer work for the community.  Bernice was employed at Parkview Care Center for 10 years.

Her faith, her family, her friends and grandchildren were all an important part of her life.  Bernice enjoyed baking, especially pies, as well as playing card games with her family and friends. She was an avid sports fan.  She would like to be remembered as a kind and loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend.

She is survived by her children: Roger (Beverly) Sonnek of Loves Park, IL, Tom (Deb) Sonnek of Fairmont, MN, Ron (Cindy) Sonnek of Freeborn, MN, DeeAnn (Dan) Olson of Danbury, WI, Mike (Wendy) Sonnek of Hutchinson, MN; 12 grandchildren:  Jason Sonnek and Justin Sonnek of Loves Park, IL,  Matt (Katie) Sonnek of Bozeman, MT, Aaron (Amy) Sonnek of Stillwater, MN, Angela (Dustin) Rohlik of Fairmont, MN, Heather (Nick) Johnson of Albert Lea, MN, Chad (Kate) Sonnek of Hollandale, MN, Stacy (Eric) Neubauer of Wells, MN, Danielle (Dan) Steinhauer of Frost, MN, April (Damien) Brase of Farmington, MN, Courtney (Matt) Phillips of Hartland, MN;  14 great-grandchildren: Kaden Henion;  Brynn and Paige Sonnek; Abe, Annika and Arlo Sonnek; Izabella Sonnek; Kolter and Korbyn Johnson; Ihlee Neubauer; Mya and Mason Steinhauer; Nolan Brase; and Rae Phillips.  Sisters-in-law: Joyce Bathke, Carroll Bathke, Marian Sonnek, Vicki Sonnek; brother-in-law: George (Pat) Sonnek.

She is preceded in death by her parents, son Terry (1976), husband Joseph (2007), granddaughter Amanda Henion (2007) and all of her siblings.