Bernice Rogers Schulte Bowden, age 103 of Bethany, passed away Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at her residence. Bernice was born in Milford, January 1, 1917, daughter of the late Ernest P. and Beatrice Nettleton Rogers. Bernice was a graduate of Milford High School, Class of 1934 and worked as a telephone operator for SNET for many years until her retirement. Bernice was known within her family for her vast gardens, her painting and miniatures, baking her own bread daily in her wood stove, her famous clam chowder, and her homemade pickles. Family gatherings in her home would always have soda in glass bottles, homemade blueberry pie, and succotash while talking about the latest project around her home or plans for next year's gardens. Her time spent with her late husband, Carl, included building 2 cottages as well as constructing the home they lived in until their passing. They had a life-long interest in genealogy before it was a mainstream interest, authoring several short books documenting their family histories. She was quietly proud of all her children's accomplishments and enjoyed visits with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Her realistic approach to her own aging was both humorous and inspiring. Her legacy of strength and caring for her family will live on through the stories that they will share in her memory. She is survived by her children Linwood M. Schulte, and Willard C. Schulte both of Milford, Bernice Louise Bowdoin of Riverside, RI, and Deborah Murphy and her husband Charles of Coventry, RI, 18 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great-grandchildren, her sister Marilla Sweet of Milford, her daughter-in-law Pauline Schulte of West Suffield, and many nieces and nephews. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her husband Carleton Loring Bowden, her son Lester Schulte, her brothers and their wives Ernest Rogers, Jr. and his wife Patricia, Kenneth Rogers and his wife Vera, and Raymond Rogers and his wife Joyce, her daughters-in-law Dorothy and Patricia Schulte, her son-in-law Charles Bowdoin, and her brother-in-law Howard Sweet. Interment will be held privately at Northwest Cemetery, Woodbridge. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Smith Funeral Home, 135 Broad St., Milford.
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