Bernice Viola Emerich Daniels died peacefully in hospice on May 11, 2023 at the age of 90. She was born in Racine, WI to Alexander Albert and Ida Elizabeth (Wilke) Emerich on Dec. 27, 1932 and raised on the family farm surrounded by a large and loving family. The youngest of 16 half siblings, she was the last remaining member of the generation that grew up in the Great Depression and World War II.

Bernice was a good student at Horlick High School in Racine, and became the first in her family to go to college, earning a Bachelor’s degree in History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

She went on to earn a Master’s in Library Science. She began her career as a librarian driving a Bookmobile in Rapid City, SD, then working for the Ohio State University Libraries, and ultimately directing the Worthington (Ohio) Public Library for 25 years, retiring in 1992.

Bernice married Kermit Cudd in 1954 and they had three children, Tim Cudd, Ann Cudd, and Ben Cudd. Kermit and Bernice divorced in 1970 and she married Edward Daniels, who predeceased her in 2010. Bernice and Ed shared a love of horses and fox hunting, and owned a horse farm for many years in Gambier, OH where they taught riding and coached the Kenyon College Equestrian team.

After Bernice retired, she and Ed traveled extensively throughout the world, and later Bernice took trips to Canada, France, China, Taiwan, and South Africa, accompanying Ann on philosophy junkets. Bernice and Ed sold the farm in 1996 and moved to Lawrence, KS to live near Ann, and help raise her grandsons Alex and Thomas. In Lawrence she did volunteer work for Headquarters, Inc. and later for Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the Lawrence Community Theater. She was an active horsewoman into her late 70’s and a longtime member of the Sunday Mad Dogs running and walking group. Bernice lived in the Brandon Woods senior living community in Lawrence in her later years and moved to Morningstar of Arvada, CO near the end of her life, where Ben and his wife, Lynn, helped to care for her.

Tragically, oldest son Tim died in 2013. Bernice is survived by her children Ann (Neal Becker) and Ben (Lynn McCarty), daughter-in-law Evelyn Cudd, and grandchildren Alex (Sao Bac) and Thomas Becker, Mikhail (Ceesay) Morriss, and Kathleen Baumstein (Avi), and four great-grandchildren.


Bernice at Sugartree deck 253x300 Bernice on Dabinawa boat with Alex 300x213 Bernice riding at Sugartree 300x215 Bernice with baby Tim 300x206 B L wedding 300x213 Bernice at Thomas grad party 2019 300x225 Entire family at Dillon deck 300x225 Tim moving day in Florida 1994 300x205 Bernice at library 179x300

8 thoughts on “Bernice Viola Emerich Daniels”

  1. You lived life to its fullest and I will miss you. Thanks for all the great memories.

    Love, Ben

  2. A wonderful, strong, feminist role model and my best friend for 63 years. I will always miss you, Mom.


  3. Dear Ann,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. For it wasn’t too long ago (December 2022) that I lost my own mother and the grief one feels can be overwhelming. Know that I have you close in my heart and thoughts.

    With much love,


  4. What a wonderfully rich, long life! Bernice certainly was an successful woman with many talents. Most importantly, she accomplished so much while raising a beautiful family. Ben and Ann, you are both superlative people. Lynn has told me how smart and special you are Ann. And Ben, you are such an intelligent, wonderful husband and friend. You are both a testament to your mother’s legacy. She did a great job raising you! Lynn, you were a great daughter-in-law to Bernice. You were there for her when she needed to go to a doctor’s appointment or get supplies from the store. You invited her to scrabble parties and visited her frequently for meals. And, once you learned how to cook, you prepared dinners for her. She was lucky to have such a kind-hearted daughter-in-law.
    My condolences are with you all as you celebrate her life.


  5. Bernice was an amazing, intelligent, strong and independent woman. She raised 3 incredible people. She was always generous and very devoted to her kids and grand kids.
    She will be missed by many.

  6. Bernice was a strong and well spoken woman. I always enjoyed her frank opinions and listening to her in her conversations on Sunday mornings. She and Ed were gracious hosts to the sweaty Mad Dogs while they lived at Lake Dabinawa. When I go by the lake, I remember with fondness the run/walks we had from their house.

  7. It is with great sadness that I mourn the passing of my dear Aunt Bernice. We just held the family Memorial Day ceremony for her mother Ida and her half-brother Harvey at Caledonia Memorial Park Cemetery not far from the family farm in Caledonia, Wisconsin and Bernice was certainly in our thoughts and prayers. Vickie Emerich, Gina DeCheck and I all reminisced about our amazing Aunt Bernice and her amazing children, our dear cousins Tim, Ann and Ben.

    And while I’m deeply saddened by her passing as well as Tim’s passing in 2013, I’m also filled with such happiness and wonderment remembering all of the incredible times I had with Bernice and my cousins in Wisconsin, Ohio, Kansas and Colorado. I’ll never forget Bernice teaching me how to ride horses one late summer day in Gambier. The first horse she had me ride decided to lie down and relax in the middle of a river we were crossing as though I wasn’t even there. Yeah, I really had control of that beast. Bernice is probably still laughing about that one.

    Bernice was so ahead of her time. She was so incredibly intelligent, dynamic and fearless. And her dear children are such a wonderful reflection of their mother.

    Bernice – It was an honor and a privilege to know you. When you get a chance, say hi to your older sister for me, my dear mother LaVerne.

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