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Bernice Martindale

November 4, 1920 February 19, 2019
Bernice Martindale
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Obituary for Bernice Martindale

Affectionately known by many as “Bea” or “Miss Bernice”, Bernice was born on November 4, 1920, to the late Gertrude Meade Walker and Henry Clay “Doc” Walker in Brunswick County, VA. She was the third born of four children: Lucy, Robert “Bubba”, and Sarah. She completed her journey Tuesday morning on February 19, 2019, at Envoy of Lawrenceville.
She was an active member of Oak Grove Baptist Church until her health declined. Bernice was a member of the Senior Choir, a Trustee, and a mentor (Rev. Brenda Williams Ferguson). Along with Carl, she actively participated in the local chapter of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the VFW.
She was educated at The Oak Grove School in Lawrenceville and St. Paul’s Elementary School in Meredithville. At a young age she entered the workforce to help support her family. She worked in tobacco, cotton, and domestic jobs. During this time Bernice was blessed with three children: Gretchen Elizabeth Walker Williams (Donald); Yvonne Marie Walker Booth (Theodore); Robert Lloyd Shelton (Dorothy). She earned her GED in the late 1970’s and attended Southside Virginia Community College.
She moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a cosmetologist. She worked as a domestic while attending cosmetology school. During her time in the big city, she made many friends who she remained in touch with throughout the years. When her brother Robert was in the Army, he met a handsome soldier named Lambert Carl Martindale. Robert and Carl became close friends. Robert thought it was a good idea to introduce Carl to his sister, Bernice. Bernice and Carl began dating, which led to marriage on September 27, 1954. They lived in New York for a few years before moving to Alberta, Virginia.
After their marriage, Bernice and Carl saw the need for a community facility for the youth of the area: Carl’s Fountain opened in Alberta. Along with the dance hall, Bernice opened and ran a beauty shop. For many years she kept the ladies of Brunswick and family members looking good!
A few years after the business opened, Bernice and Carl were blessed with a daughter, Carla Patricia in 1962.
Bernice is known far and wide for her cooking skills. The cakes, pies, macaroni with cheese, and holiday dinners were a treat for all who had the chance to grab a fork. She passed her skills on to her girls. She made sure they could cook, set a proper table, and serve as the perfect hostess. An avid fisher, she would go fishing early in the morning before sunrise. The fish she caught were cleaned and cooked for breakfast that morning with fresh hot-buttered cornbread.
Bernice was an advocate for many in Brunswick County. Her courage and persistence led many residents in Alberta to encourage her to run for an open seat on Alberta Town Council in 1976. She ran and won, becoming the first Black elected to an office in Brunswick County. She served on Town Council for 17 years. After leaving Town Council, she continued to work for the betterment of Alberta and Brunswick County.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Lambert Carl Martindale, her siblings Lucy W. Tucker (William), Robert E. Walker (Agnes), and Sarah W. Fields (Lee). She leaves to cherish her memory a host of family, friends and neighbors, including Frances and Thomas Mabry of Alberta.
Although she gave birth to four children, she was a mother to many, many more. Especially to her nieces and nephews: Jean, Constance, Paul, Carl, Michael, Sandra, Wanda, Beverly, and Lamonte. Bernice was a proud grandmother to five: Vincent R. Shelton, Charles A. Belgrave, III, Victor Shelton, Reno L. Belgrave, and Nicole R. Shelton; Great-Grandmother to three and Step-Grandmother to six.
Bernice leaves to cherish her memory her children: Gretchen (Donald), Yvonne (Theodore), Robert (Dorothy), and Carla; Sister-in-law: Coral Aubert; Grandchildren, great-grandchildren, 19 nieces and nephews, and scores of cousins and family friends. We all will miss her spirit and feistiness.

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Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

22

Feb

12:00 PM 2/22/2019 12:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 2/22/2019 7:00:00 PM
W. L. Fields Funeral Home

10814 Doyle Boulevard
McKenney, VA 23872

W. L. Fields Funeral Home
10814 Doyle Boulevard McKenney 23872 VA
United States

Visitation

Saturday

23

Feb

10:00 AM 2/23/2019 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 2/23/2019 11:00:00 AM
Oak Grove Baptist Church

22355 Christianna Highway
Lawrenceville, VA 2368

Oak Grove Baptist Church
22355 Christianna Highway Lawrenceville 2368 VA
United States

Service

Saturday

23

Feb

11:00 AM 2/23/2019 11:00:00 AM
Oak Grove Baptist Church

22355 Christianna Highway
Lawrenceville, VA 2368

Oak Grove Baptist Church
22355 Christianna Highway Lawrenceville 2368 VA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Crestview Memorial Park Final Resting Place

18599 US-1
LaCrosse, VA 23930

18599 US-1 LaCrosse 23930 VA
United States
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