Bernice Reed

Bernice  Reed

Bernice Reed was born a tenacious Leo on August 12, 1936, to the late Edith Mickle in Camden, South Carolina. She was the first born out of six siblings Joe Louis, Jacob, Esau, John Henry, Dan and Zakiyyah. She resided in South Carolina until the age of 10 when she moved to Hackensack, New Jersey to live with her cousin Williene Dow and family. When she was 15, she moved to Brooklyn, New York where she lived on Union Street with her cousin Richard and Marie Lloyd.


Bernice graduated from Girls High in Brooklyn in 1955. After that, she worked for an accounting firm as a secretary. It was during this time that she met her lifelong best friend Becky Boyd, who still affectionately calls her by her nickname “Bunny.”


Bernice married Hilliard Alfred Reed Jr. on June 20, 1959, at Siloam Presbyterian Church. From this loving union they have two daughters, Susan Laura and Linda Evelyn. Bernice and Hilliard lived in Brooklyn, New York until 1995 when they moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio.


Bernice graduated from Brooklyn College in 1975. Bernice taught in the New York City Public School System in the capacity of Special Education for over 25 years. She had a passion for education and helping young people reach their full potential. She taught and tutored many children, including her grandkids, even well after retirement.


Bernice had a strong faith and walked with God. As a young lady, Bernice sang in the youth choir at Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Brooklyn. She enjoyed spending her time hosting social events. In the early days of her marriage, she would host and attend fraternity wives’ social events, played bridge, and made sure everyone was well fed. Bernice was an exquisite cook, her daughters often said she put magic in her food. She had such a love for music that she had an extensive collection of all genres and believed “music, like prayer, has a way of building our faith.” In her free time, she also liked gardening, traveling, reading, and solving word search puzzles which she felt kept her mind sharp.


Bernice peacefully departed this earth January 11, 2022, surrounded by her loved ones. Bernice is preceded in death by her husband of 41 years Hilliard. She is also preceded by her good friend and then fiancé Michael Feurestein. She is survived by her brother Dan (Eleanor), her daughters Susan Hall Dotson (Olon) and Linda Reed Shaw (Gerald), her grandchildren Jordan T. Hall, Tristen A. Hall, Gabriel C. Shaw, Kassidy, E. Shaw, Jessie Martin, Chloé W. Dotson, and Lyle W. Dotson, and her niece and nephew Ibn Abdulrazzaaq and Kamela Abdulrazzaaq-Ellis (Jonathan). She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and children both young and old that called her Mom, Ma Bern, Berny Bern, and Grandma–especially Henry Harris that she shared a special bond as a son from another mother

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