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Bernice L. Liestman Feb. 9, 1917 - Jan. 17, 2009

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PAYNESVILLE -- Bernice L. Liestman, 91, of Paynesville died Saturday at Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

The service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville. Burial will be in Ebenezer Cemetery in rural Paynesville.

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Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the church prior to the service. Arrangements by the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville.

She was born Feb. 9, 1917, to John and Nina (Kingsriter) Weber in Zion Township, Stearns County. She grew up on the family farm located four miles north of Paynesville.

She married Lawrence Liestman on June 15, 1938, near her childhood home. They farmed on the Weber Farm with her parents until they purchased their own farm near Paynesville in 1942.

They attended Ebenezer Church near Eden Valley until it closed. There Bernice was active as a Sunday school and Bible school teacher, singing in small groups and choir, and playing the piano and arranging special music and activities for programs. Upon the close of Ebenezer Church, they attended Grace United Methodist Church. Bernice served there for 35 years with her friends on the funeral committee, helping her team members to serve meals to the bereaved.

She enjoyed her vegetable and flower gardens. At one point, Bernice had 27 flower garden plots. The gardens became so popular that her children and granddaughters held an open house for 13 years to which as many as 1,000 people visited in one season. Her gardens were featured frequently in newspapers and an article was also done about her and her gardening in Farm & Ranch Magazine.

She is survived by her children: John (and Laurel) and Linda, all of Paynesville, and Karen (and Bob) Tordsen of Brownton; two granddaughters; and one great-granddaughter.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 1999 and a sister.

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