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Bernita Marie Degenhardt 1926 - 2023
Bernita Marie Degenhardt

Bernita Marie Degenhardt, 97, passed away Dec. 10, 2023, at Medicalodges of Great Bend, Great Bend, Kan. She was born June 6, 1926, in Hays, Kan., to Nicholas and Mary (Wittman) Wasinger. Bernita married Walter Degenhardt Sept. 20, 1943, in Pfiefer, Kan. Walter died Oct. 14, 1985.

Bernita, a long-time resident of Great Bend, coming from Hoisington and Kinsley, was a member of Prince of Peace Parish at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Altar Society, Daughters of Isabella, Fraternal Order of the Eagles Aerie 646 and Sunflower Polka Club. Bernita enjoyed polka dancing, crocheting, canning, and was proud of her German heritage cooking and baking. Amid raising six children, Bernita owned and operated the Cozy Inn Café, previously working for Duckwalls, A & W, Daylight Donuts, marketing for Hallmark cards, and most recently served the community as a Senior Companion. 

Survivors include four sons, Louis Degenhardt of Great Bend, Lloyd Degenhardt (Leeta) of Larned, Kan., Leon Degenhardt (Paula) of Muskogee, Okla., and Richard Degenhardt of Great Bend; one daughter, Kathy Foster (Brett) of Rose Hill, Kan.; one daughter-in-law, Shirley Degenhardt; 18 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren with one to arrive in June, and 20 great great grandchildren with one to arrive in March. She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter; one son; Larry Degenhardt; four brothers, Marion, Virgil, Ed, infant Alvin; and four sisters, Georgina Sander, Leona Sander, Marcella Berens and Lorraine Wolf.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Great Bend, with Father Aneesh Parappanattu presiding. Interment will follow at Great Bend Cemetery, Great Bend. Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Bryant Funeral Home, with an Altar Society Rosary at 4 p.m. and a Vigil with Daughters of Isabella Rosary at 7 p.m.  Memorials may be Gentiva Hospice or Prince of Peace Altar Society, in care of Bryant Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Bryant Funeral Home

1425 Patton Road

Great Bend, KS  67530

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Dec. 12, 2023