Bernadette Delores Zembal, longtime resident of Aberdeen, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at Gulke Manor Adult Family Home in Montesano. She was 98. Born in 1921 in Talbot, Oregon, she was the daughter of Ernest and Emma (Ray) Jolley. Bernadette is preceded in death by her husband, James, and her daughter, Susan Zembal. She is survived by her four daughters: Victoria Lanum of Arizona, Jane Reibel of Aberdeen, Diane Hartung of Massachusetts, Nancy Orlowski of Bellingham, nine grandchildren, Nicolas Reibel of Poland, Kristina Snyder of Orcas Island, James Reibel of Aberdeen, Amanda Reibel Peterson of Idaho, Waldemar Hartung of Connecticut, Colin Hartung of New Hampshire, Kristofer Orlowski of Seattle, Robert Orlowski of Bellingham, Rebecca Orlowski of Snohomish and eight great-grandchildren.
As one of six children, Bernadette faced the challenges of growing up during the Depression. Despite this she excelled in art. She was also known for hitting homeruns in baseball. She graduated from Hoquiam High School in 1939. Though she wanted to attend art school, she worked instead at the veneer plant in Hoquiam to help support her family, and then as a riveter for Boeing to support the war effort. She married her husband, James, in 1948 after the war.
Bernadette loved her gardening. She was known not just for her determination but for how she helped people in need. As a liberated woman before her time, she learned to do tasks that were usually done by men such as putting up sheet rock, and working on cars. At one point she owned nine 1965 Mustangs, which earned her the title “The Mustang Lady.” But she was always happiest cooking for her family.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to St. Mary’s School, 518 North H Street, Aberdeen, WA.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, 11 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church, 414 East Broadway St., Montesano. Burial service to follow at Wynooche Cemetery and a reception after that will be held at St. John’s Hall, both in Montesano.
Please take a few moments to record your thoughts for the family by signing the on-line register at www.colemanmortuary.net.