Surrounded by her close family, Bernice Night Ganns Schnurr passed away peacefully at her home on December 27, 2018, just 10 days after celebrating her 95th birthday. She was a loving and devoted daughter, wife, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, aunt, and friend. Outgoing, determined and incredibly strong, she left an indelible mark on all who met her and was truly the matriarch of her family.
Bernice was one of six children born to Sam and Sarah Night of Beaumont, Texas on December 17, 1923. Bernice and her siblings loved visiting and were very proud of their father’s store, Nights Uniform Company, located in Beaumont. In 1950, Bernice married her first husband, Sherwin Ganns, and that same year, they had their first child, Stephen. A little more than a year later, they had their daughter, Cynthia (Cindy). After Sherwin’s untimely passing, Bernice married Norman J. Schnurr in 1962, and became “mom” to Bonnie and Josette.
Bernice loved life. She enjoyed hosting the holidays at her home, going to the ballet and opera, and playing tennis, Mahjong, Bridge, and Rummikub, which she played as often as she could. Throughout her life, what she loved most was spending time with people, especially her family – her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who brought her so much joy. Even as her health declined, her greatest joy was spending time with her family and loved ones.
Bernice was preceded in death by her beloved parents Sam and Sarah Night; husbands, Sherwin Ganns and Norman Schnurr; son, Stephen Ganns; son-in-law, Ronald (Ronny) Bass; and siblings, Donald Night and wife Nanette, Harvey Night and wife Betty, and Evelyn Schackman and husband Elton. She is survived by her daughter, Cindy Bass Senior and husband David; daughter Bonnie Schnurr Toys Glazer; daughter Josette Schaffner and husband Fred; sister Geraldine (Geri) Rich and late husband Melvin (Mel); brother, Ralph Night and wife Judy; grandchildren who affectionately referred to her as “Grammie,” Jamie Bass Trahan and husband Matt, Dory Bass Taibel and husband Jason, Jennifer Toys, Michael Toys and wife Julie, Craig Toys and wife Georgette, Lori Rhoades and husband Greg, Audrey Spinner and husband Larry, Andrew Schaffner and wife Michelle, and Carey Schaffner. She is also survived by her loving great-grandchildren, Reid Taibel, Madeline Taibel, Henry Trahan, Ainsley Rutkowski and husband Justin, Lindsey Gaskins and husband Walt, Austin Toys, Matthew Rhoades, David Rhoades, Nicole Berman, Jessica Berman, Haley Schaffner, Ganden Schaffner, and Tashi Shaffner; great-great grandchild, Scarlett Gaskins; numerous nieces and nephews who she loved dearly; and extended family, Amy, Aaron, Cookie and Jack Isgur, Ashley, Gavin, Sari, Brooke and Davis Roseman, and Anne, Scott, Simon and Oliver Golenternek.
The family would like to extend their sincerest thanks to her caretakers, Flora Okono, Haimonot Testamichel, and Udema Udofia, for the warm and compassionate care that they provided.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made in Bernice’s memory to Congregation Emanu El or the charity of your choice.