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Bernice Arena Ross Strom (nee Whiting) was born on March 10, 1930, in Toledo, Ohio, passed away on February 21, 2024, in Framingham, Massachusetts, at the age of 93. She was the daughter of Milton and Mable “Velma” Whiting, and a devoted mother to Laura Ross Ginter, her Husband Gary of Washington, Kenneth W. Ross and his wife Dawn of Framingham, Deborah Ross Nixon, her Husband John of Connecticut, and Robert W. Ross and his fiancé Kindra Powers of Hopedale. She was also Mimi to 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Bernice was predeceased by her husbands, Warren R. Ross, and Kenneth A. Strom.

Bernice was raised in Toledo, Ohio and graduated from Waite High School in 1948. She attended nursing school in Washington, DC. It was there that she met a handsome Army lieutenant, Warren Ross of Newton, Mass, and found her eternal life partner. Together they had 4 children. She lost Warren to Leukemia in 1968 at age 38 and raised her young children as a single mom while working full time to support them.

Bernice dedicated her life to caring for others, both as an emergency room nurse at Framingham Union Hospital and later as the head nurse of the neurological in-patient unit at Newton Wellesley Hospital, until she retired in 1995. But her passion for helping others extended beyond her professional life. She was a civic leader who took great pride in her community. Called “The Mayor of Longview Rd.” she was elected by voters to be a Framingham Town Meeting member and served honorably for over 20 years. She was a poll supervisor during elections and a member of the Medical Reserve Corp. She attended St Andrew’s Episcopal church, joining the congregation in 1961. She went back to college in her fifties, showcasing her lifelong commitment to learning and self-improvement. In her leisure time, she enjoyed cross-stitching, solving word puzzles, and caring for the neighborhood wildlife that were drawn to her like a Disney princess.

Bernice was a firecracker and a fighter who faced adversity with strength and grace.  She will be remembered for her unwavering dedication to her family and her community. She leaves behind a legacy of compassion, resilience, and service that will continue to inspire all those who were fortunate enough to have known her. She will be deeply missed by all who loved her.

Family and friends will honor and remember Bernice’s life by celebrating her Funeral Service in the McCarthy, McKinney & Lawler Funeral Home, 11 Lincoln St. Framingham on Wednesday morning, March 6th at 10 o’clock. Interment will follow in Newton Cemetery.

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