Alta Berniece Trumbull was born in Denver, Colorado at Rocky Mountain Osteopathic Hospital early on Monday morning, January 11, 1926 to Fay Etta and Malcom Arthur Trumbull. (The doctor was confused and listed the date as January 12th.) Her father was plant manager of the Ford Motor Company on south Broadway in Denver (producing 400 Model T’s a day) and her mother was a teacher and homemaker. Her parents, were very active members at Trinity Methodist Church in downtown Denver and that is where Berniece was baptized on March 14, 1926.
Berniece’s dad, Malcom, contracted pneumonia and died on December 21, 1928. Her widowed mother then married Phil Jacobs who also had two small children (Theda) born in 1922 and (Ed) born in 1924. During the depression in the spring of 1933, the family of Phil, Fay, Theda, Ed, Berniece, and Don moved to southern Ohio near Lucasville and lived in a very primitive pre-civil war house with no running water or electricity. While in Ohio, Phil and Fay had Phyllis Faye Jacobs born on January 22, 1934.
Berniece’s younger brother by 15 months, Donald Murray Trumbull, was born in April 1927 and they were close all through their lives until his death in October 1997. They even graduated high school together in May 1943 even though Berniece had started college in January 1943 at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. (Berniece was her Clay High School valedictorian and an Ohio scholar earning many state academic awards.) She graduated from Capital University with a degree in Latin, history, and a minor in religion in May 1946. While in college, she had a full academic scholarship for her entire undergraduate degree. She had to work as a seamstress, did ball bearing war work, and worked as a grocery store cashier to pay for her off campus room and board while in college to afford to live in the Columbus area.
In September 1946, Berniece was hired to teach Latin at Ontario High School in Mansfield, Ohio. She roomed with another teacher from the school named Kathleen Huber. Through Kathleen, Berniece met Norman Emmitt Huber in March 1947. (Norm had a six year old son Norman Stanley Huber (Butch) from his first marriage whom his parents had taken to raise while Norm was in the U.S. Army during World War II.) Berniece and Norman hit it off right away and they married on Sunday, June 22, 1947 at the United Brethren Church in Portsmouth, Ohio. Norm and Berniece lived in Columbus, Ohio until the summer of 1948 when they moved to Denver, Colorado and Norm worked as a machinist and Berniece taught Latin at Edgewater High School in Jefferson County. Then in the summer of 1951 they moved to the Cincinnati, Ohio area to be closer to her brother Don and his wife Ann. There Norm started working for Gruen Watch Company and training as a tool and die maker while making bomb timers for the U. S. Army and the Korean War. Berniece also taught Latin in Bethel, Ohio for two years while in southern Ohio, along with working other jobs for their five years in Amelia and Cincinnati. In January 1956 their daughter Frances Fay was born.
In August 1956, Berniece, Norm, and Fran moved to what is now Lakewood, Colorado. By October 1956 they moved into a new home on south Harlan Street in the Cloverdale neighborhood. In March 1957, they helped charter a local Methodist Church that Chartered on April 28, 1957 as Glenn Randall Phillips Methodist Church (named for the local bishop) with 27 adult members meeting at a nearby cottage school. Berniece was very active as a piano player, choir member (1957-2018), committee member, and Sunday school teacher (1957-1967). Her last day of attendance was Sunday, February 10, 2019 and she was too tired to stay for donut time after the service. She loved greeting visitors and members each Sunday.
Berniece’s career in the Denver Public Schools was at Skinner Junior High from 1958-1982 where she taught Latin and English, was a school counselor, and assistant principal in charge of pupil services. She also read the school announcements on the P.A system for many years and was the district spelling bee announcer/pronouncer for over twenty years. When the Denver Public Schools changed to a middle school system in the fall 1982, Berniece moved to South High School as a counselor until her retirement in January 1984. In August 1965, Berniece earned her Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Denver. She started counseling at Skinner full time in 1970.
Since 1956, Berniece and Norm moved into four houses in the Lakewood area. The first one had Norm’s machine shop in the basement, the next one was on Ingalls Street with his machine shop behind the garage and next to Florida Avenue and he started his own prototype tool and die maker business. Then he outgrew that shop and moved into a tri-level on Fenton Street where they stayed until he retired. By the time Norm retired at age 78 and Berniece was 71 they felt they needed to cut down on yard work. So their last move took them into a patio home on West Asbury Circle for their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1997.
During retirement, Berniece and Norm traveled many places around the United States in their VW camper. She took art painting classes, Spanish classes, played lots of bridge, did crossword puzzles, crocheting, sewing, decorating, read tons of books of all genres, sang in church choir, and enjoyed her garden. Berniece and Norm were married for over 66 years until his death from bacterial pneumonia on August 30, 2013 at the age of 94.5. They were best friends and loved each other so much.
Berniece died in her home early on Saturday morning on May 4, 2019. She was 93 year old. She was dearly loved by her husband, daughter, family, and friends. She will be missed by all.
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