Joan Frances Bernsen Scott
Joan Frances Bernsen Scott, 88, passed away peacefully on May 5, 2020. Joan was born in Barclay, Texas on February 13, 1932 to Ervin Bernsen and Margaret Boeselt Bernsen. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, James Billy Scott, of Eddy, Texas, her brother Kenneth Bernsen and her twin great-granddaughters Ella and Emory Scott. She is survived by her son Gerry Scott and wife Sandy; daughter Jackye Scott; son Steve Scott; her sister-in-law Janice Bernsen; her grandchildren Valerie Scott Smith and husband Shawn, Jamie Scott Lee and husband Dave, Russell James Scott and wife Natalie, her step-granddaughter Jessi Rayhill; five great-grandchildren and numerous other family members.
Joan developed a strong work ethic at an early age, having grown up on a cotton farm and following the example of her farther, Ervin. She exhibited this value throughout her life and passed it along to each of her children. She was a devoted big sister to her brother Kenneth, and among other tasks, expected to protect him from the “mean dog” on the walk home from grade school. She and Kenneth remained close throughout their lives and always loved to reminisce about their younger days in Westphalia.
After graduation from Rosebud High School, Joan attended the Scott & White School of Nursing in Temple and graduated in 1952 becoming a Registered Nurse. Joan became lifelong friends with many of her classmates at Scott & White. They referred to themselves as the “Steel Magnolias” and she looked forward to and enjoyed their frequent reunions.
Following nursing school, Joan worked at Scott &White hospital in Temple where she met James Billy Scott. According to her account,”Early on he said he was going to marry me, but I didn’t think that much about it”. Notwithstanding advice from Father Schertz to “find a good Catholic boy to marry” they married in the Church of the Visitation in Westphalia on August 25, 1953. She was a devoted and loving wife until his death on July 9, 1995. She and “Scott” raised three children while living in various places throughout the world.
Always independent and confident, Joan boarded an airplane for her first time in 1962 with four month old Steve together with Jackye and Gerry, bound for Tripoli, Libya to join Scott who had gone earlier to start a job with one of Libya’s emerging oil producers. They lived in Libya for five years and traveled through much of Europe, which she greatly enjoyed. Other than a period in Quito, Ecuador, Joan and Scott made Conroe, Texas their home.
Except when living abroad, Joan always worked outside the home, generally in the medical profession. She spent 24 years at Avery Eye Clinic, where she developed many close friendships with co-workers and patients.
Family was precious to Joan and she valued her relationships with aunts, uncles, cousins, and her niece and nephew. She took great delight in her grandchildren, taking every opportunity to spend time with them. “Gimma” was greatly admired as a loving, thoughtful, independent and tough grandmother who could be counted on to bring a loving smile and a deep interest in everything they were doing.
Joan lived her life to the fullest. She enjoyed many activities, including travel, gardening, her many pets, but most of all the people in her life. She had many lifelong friends and kept in touch with a number of them until the time of her decline due to Alzheimer’s. She will be remembered for her sense of style, her strong character, her fearless determination and her willingness to share her unfiltered opinion.
The family is grateful that Eunicia Adam served as Joan’s caregiver for more than four years during the progression of her Alzheimer’s disease.
Joan will be buried at St. Mary’s cemetery following a private funeral mass at Westphalia, Texas. A memorial to celebrate her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest contributions to the Church Rebuilding Fund for the Church of the Visitation, 144 CR 3000, Lott, TX 76656.