Bernita Heffern

1930 - 2021


August 3, 2021 - 7:35 AM

Bernita T. Heffern, age 91, of Iola, passed away Sunday, August 1, 2021, at the Allen County Regional Hospital, Iola. Bernita was born Feb. 21, 1930, in Piqua, to Lawrence H. Kress and Rose E. (Sicka) Kress. 

Bernita graduated as Valedictorian from Yates Center High School, and then she attended and graduated from the Kansas City Secretarial School.

Bernita worked for the United States Treasury in Kansas City. She later worked for LeHigh Portland Cement until it closed, then Rural Electric Cooperative; and she retired from the accounting department at Monarch Cement in Humboldt. 

Bernita married Charles L. West on June 1, 1949. He passed away on May 21, 1957. She married Charles Heffern on April 22, 1963. He passed away Dec. 20, 2015.

Bernita loved family, friends, flowers, crafts, and quilting. She especially enjoyed time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bernita will be remembered for her spunk and quick wit. She was a very honest woman, but was known to cheat at poker. Bernita lived her life on faith, family, and hard work. Her faith saw her through hard times, her family brought her the greatest joy, and a harder worker could not be found. 

Bernita was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church, St. John’s Altar Society, director of the religious education program for several years, and a member of the Sunflower Quilters Guild. 

Bernita was preceded in death by her first husband, Charles West; her second husband, Charles Heffern; her parents; brothers, Kenneth Kress and Richard Kress, and grandson, Joshua. 

Bernita is survived by sons, Kenny West (Linda), Livingston, Texas, Steven West (Bonnie), Chanute, Charles Heffern (Linda), Iola, Larry Heffern (Mary), Topeka; daughters, Teri West, Yates Center, Cathy West, Admire, Liz West-Lewis (Brian), Key Largo, Fla., Barb Nelson (Robert), Gridley; twenty-four grandchildren; several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; brother, Larry (Cindy) Kress, LaHarpe; and numerous other relatives and friends.

A visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 3, in The Venue at Feuerborn Family Funeral Service, 1883 US Highway 54, Iola, Kansas. A Rosary will be recited at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 4, at St. John’s Catholic Church, Iola, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, Gas. 

Memorials are suggested to the Seminary Fund of Wichita, and may be left with Feuerborn Family Funeral Service.


August 25, 2017
December 22, 2015
September 29, 2012
September 9, 2010