Bernice M. Smiley

August 22, 1922February 12, 2021

Bernice May Smiley (Buhr), age 98 of Grand Rapids, went to be with her heavenly father on February 12, 2021. She was preceded in death by her husband of 29 years, Gordon H. Smiley. Bernice was born in Ensley Center, Michigan to her parents the late Walter and Florence (Carr) Buhr. Surviving are her children Ruth (Paul Geer) Smiley-Geer and Norma (Michael) Fish; her granddaughters and great-grandchildren: Chelsea (James) Lax and little Jamie & Lucy and Abigail (Peter) DeHaan and little Ruby and brother on the way and her brother Norman (Martha) Buhr as well as many nieces and nephews.

Bernice moved from Ensley Center with her parents as a young girl to Grand Rapids. Here she graduated from Creston High School and shortly was hired by the Creston Branch of the Old Kent Bank, being the first woman to be hired in the banking establishment. There she met the love of her life Gordon, a customer of the bank. Gordon on a Saturday, after banking, went outside to use the payphone and called her up and asked if he could drive her home. They married on May 15, 1954. After her first daughter, Ruth, was born on September 3, 1955, she quit work to be a full time mother to Ruth and four years later, Norma.

In Ruth’s senior year of high school, Bernice went back to work at Bissell, Inc. until she retired from there at the age of 68. By this time Gordon had passed. She spent time being Grandma to Chelsea and Abby. Then one day Ruth and Paul asked if she wanted to go to the craft shows with them to sell their dried and freeze dried flowers. Until her fall and broken hip at the age of 94, she had attended many craft shows, women expos, bridal shows, farm markets, selling anything and all for the Frozen Creek Florals and Farm. Rockford Farm Market being her favorite.

Bernice is one of the last of The Greatest Generation, a Life Celebration is going to take place May 23, 2021 at Frozen Creek Floral and Farm.


  • Memorial Service

    Sunday, May 23, 2021


Bernice M. Smiley

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Julie Waldecker

February 18, 2021

What a dear lady. I always enjoyed visiting with Bernice. I enjoyed having her tell me the story of how she met her husband. Her family meant so much to her. She will be missed so much.
Praying for the Lord's Love and Comfort for your family.

Laura Ashmore

February 17, 2021

Ruth and Norma, your Mom was a very special woman. She and your Dad taught me a lot and treated me like a member of the family. I forgot how formally and beautifully the table was set when I was invited for dinner, until I read your FB post. Dinner time was so quiet at your house....much different than the eight of us Falicki kids around the table across the street. You’re in our thoughts and prayers.