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South Valley Riverton Journal

One Hundred Years Of Vibrant Living

Dec 05, 2014 10:09AM ● By Linda Petersen

Bernice Lewis cuts her birthday cake.

Bernice Freeman Lewis of Riverton turned 100 on Nov. 9 and Rocky Mountain Care of Riverton threw her a party with family and friends Nov. 8.

A tiny woman, Lewis was the fifth of 12 children (six boys and six girls) and the oldest girl.

She grew up on a farm in Herriman where she learned the value of hard work, something she has lived by her whole life. On the farm they baled hay, grain and wheat. Her father had 17 horses.

“I spent my whole life working—everything from soup to nuts,” she said.

Lewis moved to SLC in 1939 and lived in Sugar House for some time. During her life, she worked for a canning company and the LDS church in its clothing factory, among other jobs.

Lewis was married twice but doesn’t like to talk about those times. Instead, she loves to talk about her great-nieces and nephews, never having had children of her own.

“They’re so cute. I just love them,” she said.

Lewis is aunt to many including Herriman Mayor Carmen Freeman.

“She’s just so vibrant and full of life,” her niece Lynn Naylor said. “She rarely complains. She just loves life.”

“She’s been a mom to all of us girls,” her youngest sister Vesta Betty, 87, said.
“She was the leader of the group.”

Lewis lived on her own until two years ago when she started having balance issues. She is now a resident of the Brighton House in Riverton.