Bernice Bussett, 101, Lifelong Copake resident, passed away on July 13, 2021 in Sharon, Connecticut. She was born on January 31, 1920 in Hudson to Albert Crane Bristol and Gladys (Van Hoesen) Bristol. Bernice was a beloved member of the community who will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Bernice, “Bee” for short, and her sister Barbara (known as the Bristol girls) grew up in Copake, residing in a house the family built on Main Street. She attended the Copake School from first to sixth grade, then attended classes in the Mount Washington Hotel, while the Roeliff Jansen Central School was built. In 1933, Bee was in the first freshman class and in 1935 transferred to Emma Willard and graduated in 1937. She went on to Cornell University for two years and then transferred to Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in Boston for a year. When Bee finished secretarial school, she came back home and went to work at AC Bristol’s as a bookkeeper. After retirement Bee and her sister enjoyed traveling, and have taken several cruises over the years with Aruba being her favorite destination.
Bee was very active and well known in the Copake community. She was an 88 year parishioner of the Copake United Methodist Church, 55 years plus member of the Copake Grange and was a member of the Roe Jan Historical Society, the Hendrick Hudson Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the Roe Jan Young at Hearters. In 1963, she saw a need to raise funds for the church to defray operational costs, and helped create the Copake Methodist Church’s Bargain Shop, which is still in operation today.
In a 2020 article written by Diane Valden, which appeared in the Columbia Paper, Bee was quoted just before her 100th birthday with; she thinks she’s led a “pretty dull life” but notes, “maybe that’s why it’s lasted so long.”. Dozens of family and friends celebrated her 100th birthday in Copake with a huge party at the Methodist Church House.
Bernice is survived by her sister, Barbara Gobillot, of Copake, her grandson Anthony Brown and his wife Jill, of Rocklin, CA. Her great- great grandchildren; Madeleine Gwyn Dennis and Benjamin Fredrick Dennis, of Copake and her nephew Galen Gobillot of Panama City, FL.
She was predeceased by her husband Claude Bussett, her son Lawrence Brown, and granddaughter Andrea Dennis.
Family and friends are invited and may call on Friday, July 23, from 4 to 6 at Peck & Peck Funeral Home, 8063 Route 22, Copake. A funeral service will be conducted on Saturday at 2:00pm from the Copake United Methodist Church. Interment will be held privately in Copake Cemetery.
Donations in Bernice’s memory may be made to the Copake United Methodist Church, PO Box 127, Copake, NY 12516
For directions or to leave a message of condolence for her family, please visit www.peckandpeck.net