Bernee
Levine, Bernee Frances Age 71, born June 22, 1932 in Beverly Hills California. A lifetime resident of Southern California, she passed away unexpectedly on Mother's Day, May 9, 2004. A graduate of UCLA, she later returned to Long Beach State to obtain her Teaching Credential, and furthered her education at Pepperdine to get her Master's degree. Retired after 25 years as a kindergarten teacher at Hickory Elementary School in Torrance, her natural musical talents also allowed her to conduct her elementary school choir for many years. A zest for travel led her literally around the world visiting more than 20 countries. An animal lover, Bernee always had her faithful canine companions at her side. As a woman with a green thumb, she had many fruit trees and grew many varieties of roses, orchids and other tropical flowers from Hawaii. Survived by her husband Saul, her daughter Leslie, her son Larry, her daughter Laurie, and twin grandchildren Lex and Lacee. In heartfelt memory and love of a wonderful and dedicated mother, grandmother, wife and teacher, she will be missed by all her family and her many friends. Services will be held on Friday, May 14, 1pm at Green Hills Memorial Chapel, Rancho Palos Verdes. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.

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  1. I\’ve known Berne since I was 8 years old. For years, she was like a second mother to me. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother and a generous and loving person. She will be sorely missed by all. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and all those who loved her.

  2. From all of us – Nick the Schtick, Bree, Vicki and Michael, we send you our prayers and love! I was very blessed to have Bernie as both the kids\’ kindergarten teacher. Bree is now 25 and Nick 21! Her dedication, humor, creativity and friendship were unsurpassed! The 3 Musketeers – Andi, Bebe and I – all met 20 years ago when the kids started school and Bernie quickly became the 4th. She will be in our hearts forever! Love always, Vicki

  3. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Levine family. Our family has wonderful memories of our special times shared with Bernie & the Levine family. I will remember Berine as always having a radiant endless smile. Personally, Bernie taught me to enjoy Christmas morning “locks & bagels”, shared with me her receip to make sushi and taught me that you could make “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer” out the palm tree branches… all of which were new experiences for a kid from the frozen land of Minnesota. As I remember Bernie, I reflect on her collection of hats and her use of perfume strategically sprayed on her knees … all done as part of her role as a devoted kindergarten teacher.

  4. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Levine family. Our family has wonderful memories of our special times shared with Bernie & the Levine family. I will remember Berine as always having a radiant endless smile. Personally, Bernie taught me to enjoy Christmas morning “locks & bagels”, shared with me her receip to make sushi and taught me that you could make “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer” out the palm tree branches… all of which were new experiences for a kid from the frozen land of Minnesota. As I remember Bernie, I reflect on her collection of hats and her use of perfume strategically sprayed on her knees … all done as part of her role as a devoted kindergarten teacher.

  5. Bernee Levine By Bebe Frank When I think of Bernee, I think of laughter, the latest joke, the amusing anecdotes…….. When I think of Bernee, I think of dedication. She inspired me as a teacher to do interesting projects, to care more, and to explore the beauty of people and customs. That’s why when I think of Bernee, the word teacher comes to mind. When I think of Bernee I think about friendship. I could always go to Bernee with all that was new in my life, no pretenses, good, bad, and ugly… she wanted to know…….. That’s why when I think of Bernee I think of a faithful friend. When I think of Bernee, the word respect comes to mind. Respect for our differences as a society, Respect for what each values……….. When I think of Bernee, I think of stories, enthusiasm, and jokes. I will miss them. I will miss the silly messages on her answer phone. I will also miss the friend who always had an ear for my news, a “Too bad!” for problems that couldn’t be helped, a little bit of that “kick ass” attitude… and, most of all, I will miss Bernee’s interest on my worries. I won’t miss Bernee’s smile, though… That will always be in my mind and heart. When I think of Bernee, I know she will always be remembered by all of us in a special way. When I think of Bernee, I know how proud her family is of her, especially her grandkids who were the shine in their Tutu’s eye. When I think of my beloved friend, I think of a life well-lived. Bravo, Bernee Levine, Bravo!

  6. I have lost a wonderful friend. I first met her when I went to Hickory Elementary School to teach many years ago. She was one of the first people on the faculty to greet me and make me feel welcome. Bernee was always there for you if you needed a friend. She and I had many fun times together. She always made everyone feel so special. I feel fortunate to be able to call her my friend. I want to thank her son, Larry, for keeping me informed after her last operation and about this funeral. Thank you for sharing your mom. We all loved her so much. Evelynn Briggs

  7. Dear Larry and family, I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom…Larry and i shared a lot of “mom stories” while i was living in Man Bch a few years ago..and i know how fond you all were of her. Please know that my heartfelt symapthy is with you during this time. KAtherine

  8. Bernee was so great at keeping in touch with me. At least several times a year I would get an email from her with news of your family and of our Hickory family. She was so proud of all her children. When I came to teach at Hickory I was as green as could be. Kindergarten was not my first choice and I wondered how I was going to keep those little guys busy everyday. Bernee was a role model for me. With her endless enthusiasm, years of experience and love for the children, she showed me how to be an effective teacher and keep my sanity too. Bernee\’s spirit will always be a part of my life. Now that I have eight grandchildren, that Bernee part of me has a place to express itself. She sure adored her twin grandbabies and always mentioned them when she emailed or wrote. They are lucky to have had a doting grandma if only for a too short time.

  9. I met Bernee 27 years ago. She was my youngest daughter\’s kindergarden teacher. I pulled Bernee aside that day to express my concerns about my daughter. She was young, she didn\’t like or want to learn like her older sister. She sometimes would just stare at you. Bernee all the time looking at me, with a look that said, quit worrying, It\’ll be ok. Bernee was like that, but I tell you this story because two years later, I was hired to work with Bernee in her classroom. We worked together for over 15 years in the same room We became a team. She was my boss, my co-worker but most of all she was my friend. We shared many things and about two months after we started working together, one day at lunch, one of Bernee\’s favorite things to do, she reminded me of the first time we met. She said and I quote, “You scared the crap out of me Norma, I thought you were telling me your kid was retarded.” Bernee\’s sense of humor was the thing I loved most about her. She loved a good joke and could tell a good joke. Her sense of humor was ever present. As Bernee\’s aide in her room she would give me some of the jobs she didn\’t want to do. We were in kindergarden and Bernee loved to spoil her classes. We planted a garden every year and guess who turned the soil, and pulled the weeds. We had parakeets that had nesting cages, guess who got her hands pecked while changing the birds from cage to cage. In the spring Bernee would buy chicken eggs so her class could see baby chicks hatch. When the chicks were big enough we would put them on the floor so the children could see and touch them. If the chicks pooped on the floor or got out of the circle on the floor, guess who cleaned the poop or chased them all around the room, are you getting the picture here? One year she got a deal on a one eared rabbit of course we named him VanGough. She told me the rabbit had fleas and gave me some stuff to deflea him. I went into the back room, followed all the instructions but nobody told me rabbits don\’t like water. Im surprised that I don\’t still have scares on my chest and neck. Bernee heard all the noise and came running, when she saw me holding the wet rabbit by one leg and that I had more water on me than the rabbit I thought she was going to wet her pants with laughter, snorting all the while. Everything we did turned into laughter. She was fun to be with. Bernee also had faith in my ability to teach children. She always encouraged me to go get a teaching credential. If I had followed her advise, I would have missed out on 15 great years with a really special person. If a child had a problem and needed some one on one, she always gave them to me. Her trust in me to help these little minds will never be forgotten. We worked together, we ate together, had fun together, she was good to me and I\’ll miss her, I love you Bernee…. Love Norma Sibley, Your Friend.

  10. Dearest Tutu…. THANK YOU….Thank you for sharing your precious life with all of us… and for unconditionally LOVING us with all of your heart. You have truly been an inspiration to everyone who knew you… and we Thank you for always making LIFE a celebration… Whether it was one of your infamous parties where everyone on the planet showed up, or just a small intimate gathering of family and friends, you were ALWAYS there, LOVING, GIVING, SHARING….and LAUGHING…Who could forget that….Your laughter was infectious and always made people feel so good. I want to thank you for the Love you gave me, and for always accepting me in your heart. From the day I first met you, you always made me feel like part of your family. I can still remember what you would always tell me, “Hurry up and give me grandkids”. I knew back then just how wonderful you would be as a grandparent and Mother-in-law, and I wasn’t wrong. You were the BEST. Your love for the twins was unmatched by anyone…and I cherish the fact that you always wanted to be a part of their lives in everyway. They will grow up to be the greatest people, because they had you in their lives as such a loving and giving role model. Thank you for that. God sent Tutu here for so many reasons…. He sent her here to Give…to Share…to Nurture….and to Heal… To TEACH us and to INSPIRE us to be the best we could be…. God sent Tutu here to LOVE us unconditionally…. And for that we will always be thankful – We are ALL better people because Tutu was a part of our lives…..and always will be. What is our loss….is Heaven\’s gain…..as God has welcomed home one of his best… We love you Tutu…God Bless you always…

  11. I am so incredibly sad that Bernie is gone. I loved being around her and her enthusiasm for life, laughter, and family. She was a bonus for being your friend. I wish that I could be there to add my love and support to your family, but know that you are all in my prayers. Christmas day will never be the same for me. I would always think of the clever things that she would create for Christmas morning, noshing and because of her Sharon and I began our own Loxand bagels on C-mas morning tradition. I was so privileged to have known your Mom and know that she will be remembered by so many people. She was a very special, loving woman. Lots of love, Lisa

  12. How appropriate that Bernee\’s picture should show her with such a huge smile. One of my best memories of her is her big laugh. A laugh so big it inspired others to laugh. I also remember her intriguing collection of international musical instruments. So exotic! I\’m sure that right now, she\’s leading a hootenany in heaven!

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