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Bernice Irene Peralta

Obituary for Bernice Irene Peralta

December 25, 1927 - July 14, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 90


Bernice Irene Peralta passed peacefully from this world on the 14th of July to join her husband of seventy years Roberto. A loving wife, mother and friend, Bernice struggled with severe dementia in her final years. She will always be remembered for the grace and courage with which she faced this and every struggle of her life. She was as a beacon of strength, love and kindness for her four sons who adored her.

Bernice was born in Detroit, Michigan during the early morning hours of Christmas Day of 1927 to Joseph Charles Purcilly and Mary Catherine Talis. Her father brought her home and placed her under the Christmas tree calling her brothers and sisters to come and see the "Dolly" that Santa had brought. From that moment on she was Dolly to all who knew and loved her. She grew up in a large family during the difficult years of the depression and World War II.
Dolly started working at an early age and managed to find work during her teens as a switchboard operator. Being young and inexperienced they decided to start her easy on a Sunday when there was normally very little traffic. Everything went smoothly until midday when the whole switchboard lit up at once. The day was December 7, 1941 and Pearl Harbor had just been attacked. Dolly managed to stumble through the turmoil until they brought in a more experienced operator. She continued to work numerous jobs after her graduation from high school in Detroit.

Dolly's big adventure came in 1947. Her sister June worked for the US Foreign Service in Panama and asked Dolly to come for a visit. With tickets paid for by June, she quickly accepted and flew to Panama despite the threat of losing her job in Detroit. During one of the first nights in Panama, June took her to the Officers' Club in the Canal Zone where she met a young lieutenant named Roberto Peralta. He danced with her all night and immediately professed his love. He continued to court and woo her for the few weeks she was in Panama but was unsuccessful in getting Dolly to accept his marriage proposals. After returning to Detroit and continuing to get his love letters, she finally agreed to marriage. Taking the leap that changed her life, she returned to Panama and married Roberto on December 24, 1947.

She lived the vagabond life of an Army officer's wife for 25 years raising four sons and moving too frequently to ever get everything unpacked. From Maryland to Alabama to Utah and overseas to Panama and Puerto Rico, she managed her home, did volunteer work and most importantly raised four sons, imbuing them with a strong character and sense of responsibility. After Army life, she lived for many years in El Paso, Texas; Bristol, Tennessee; Kerrville, Texas; and San Antonio, Texas. While in El Paso Dolly was very active in the Republican Party. She played key roles in the El Paso campaigns of George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and many other Republican candidates. In 1991 she was recognized as an Outstanding Republican Woman by the Texas Federation of Republican Women.

Dolly was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Charles Purcilly (Nee: Basalaj); her mother, Mary Catherine Purcilly (Nee: Talis); her husband Roberto; her brothers, Joseph and Clark; her sisters, Leona, June, and Louise (Bunny). She is survived by her brother Art and wife Shirley; her four sons, Robert, David and wife Jane, Paul and wife Luann, and John and wife Melanie and daughter Regan; her grandchildren, Teresa Tomlinson and husband Peter, Alicia Peralta Bornmann and husband John, and Connor Peralta; her six great-grandchildren, Victoria Tomlinson, Peter Tomlinson, Isaiah Tomlinson, Elias Tomlinson, Helen Bornmann, and James Bornmann; and numerous nieces and nephews.

9:30 A.M.

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2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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