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Helen Mae Berscheidt Tomberlin 1917-2011
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Helen Mae Berscheidt Tomberlin 1917-2011

ELLINWOOD — Helen Mae Berscheidt Tomberlin passed away Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 at Sterling House in Great Bend after a long life filled with love for her family and devotion to the land from which she came.
Mae or “Aunt Mae” as she was lovingly called both by her nieces and nephews and others who were close to her, was born March 7, 1917 in Ellinwood, the third child of Peter and Mayme Berscheidt.
Mae was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Grade School and Ellinwood High School. After graduating from Franklin Business School in Wichita, she worked for Republic Natural Gas in Ellinwood for many years, first as a secretary and later as a field clerk. Mae was a lifetime member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Altar Society.
Mae lived on the family farm with her parents until they moved into Ellinwood in the mid 1950s. She took great pride in the many flowers and plants which she tended so carefully in the yard around the farmhouse — and later in the yard in town.
The extended Berscheidt family would always gather for all the holidays, with the yearly highlights being the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. After dinner, everyone would play Bingo in the afternoon. Mae would read  the numbers and pass out the often-silly items that she provided as prizes.
Mae was also known as the family photographer. Her photos, and those taken by other family members, filled photo albums which Mae painstakingly assembled through the decades.
Mae married C.J. (Tom) Tomberlin October 21, 1961. She began a new and wonderful phase of her life with Tom and her new stepchildren, Bill and Bonnie. With Tom, Mae traveled to many new places, but she also acquired a new yard to cultivate and make beautiful.
Tom’s untimely passing in May of 1978 was a burden that Mae always felt, but she nevertheless carried on with great spirit that enriched the lives of those around her.
Mae resumed her professional career, working for many years as a bookkeeper in Great Bend, first for Gunn’s Clothing and later for Gallery of Brides.
As the years passed, Mae remained devoted to the Berscheidt family farm. For many years with her sister Margaret, she would examine the crops and report to family members scattered around the country. With her business training and experience, she also meticulously kept the books. She stayed on top of the wheat prices and provided counsel to others about such matters.
Mae was a lifetime resident of Ellinwood until she entered Sterling House in 2007. As a resident, she continued to work on farm business, update the photo albums and send a steady stream of notes and cards to her relatives. She maintained a constant, loving presence in the lives of her family and she will be forever missed.
Mae is survived by her stepson, Bill, El Paso, Texas; her stepdaughter, Bonnie, Ellinwood; her nieces, Myrna, Norwich, N.Y.; Ann, Austin, Texas; Jane, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; and her nephews, Gordon, Wichita; Paul, Great Bend; Tim, Houston, Texas; Jim, Stillwater, Okla.
A funeral mass is scheduled at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ellinwood with Father Charles Mazouch officiating. An Altar Society Rosary is scheduled at 3 p.m. Monday with a vigil service scheduled at 7 p.m., both at Kimple Funeral Home, Ellinwood. Burial will take place at Lakin-Comanche District Cemetery, Ellinwood.
Memorials are suggested to St. Joseph Catholic School, St. Joseph Catholic Church Remodeling Fund or the Arthritis Foundation of America.

Funeral arrangements provided by
Kimple Funeral Home
113 North Main, P.O. Box 246
Ellinwood, KS, 67526
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Nov. 6, 2011