Hendon, Bernese Aileen Myers Age 100, Bernese Aileen Myers Hendon was born 11/18/1919 to Lulu and James Myers in Somerton, Ohio (aka Flatrock). She grew up on a 200-acre tobacco farm with her parents and two sisters, Lois Jean and Wylda. Bernese was christened by Reverend Woodson at Captina AME Church when she was an infant, and was later baptized by Rev. Ira M. Hendon at Morning Star Baptist Church in Chicago, IL. She was educated in the Barnesville Ohio School System, and graduated from Somerton High School when she was 16 years old. Bernese then moved to Dayton, Ohio, to attend beauty school. She met Coleridge Taylor Hendon, who was an ROTC student at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH. He was drafted to serve the country in World War II shortly thereafter. After correspond-ing with Coleridge for four years during the war, he joined her in Minnesota and proposed marriage. They were united in holy matrimony at Border Methodist Church on June 15, 1946, with Reverend Keller officiating. At the time Coleridge passed away on 4/17/14, they were married nearly 68 years.
Bernese moved to Minnesota for nurse's training at the University of Minnesota. In 1945 she earned a B.S. degree in nursing as the first African American graduating from the U of M's nursing program. She was credentialed as a registered nurse (R.N.), and later earned an advanced degree as a Nurse Practitioner. Bernese worked at the U of M Hospital, Hennepin County General Hospital (1964-1969), and then transferred to Pilot City Health Center in North Minneapolis where she served as an OB/GYN nurse for 15 years. Bernese retired as a Nurse Practitioner in 1985. After retire-ment, Bernese continued to work with teens at North High School's MICE Mini-Clinic.
Bernese loved to socialize and entertain. She belonged to the Octette Bridge Club, Couples Club, Civic and Culture Club (CC), Jack and Jill, 4-H, Twin Cities 40 Club, and others. After retirement, she participated in the Sabathani Community Center's Senior Center, including the Red Hatters.
Bernese celebrated her 100th birthday on 11/18/19 with family and friends, and departed this life on 4/13/20. Bernese leaves behind to cherish fond memories her son Ira Hendon (Janice); daughter Colnese Hendon; 3 grandchildren, Shanya Carter (Jonathan), Billy Jones and Silky Richardson-Hendon; 6 great-granddaughters Sanaa, Simone, Athena, Samiyah, Aaliyah and Mylene; 3 great-grandsons Jonvier, Jahmai and Gabriel; brother-in-law Edmund Hendon (Deb); cousin Norval Edwards; niece Paula Ross (Orville, deceased); nephew Robert Scales (Johnnie); and a host of other family and friends.
A special thanks to Providence Place's dedicated nursing assistants, other special staff, friends and acquaintances. A great big shout out to grandson Billy Jones, the light of her life, who spent every day over the past six years caring for his grandmother in a very special way, and to granddaughter Shanya, who also assisted with her care.
Bernese was laid to rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery on 4/27/20. A memorial service is pending.