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GRUNZWEIG, Berenice McElwee

GRUNZWEIG, Berenice McElwee

GRUNZWEIG - Berenice Marie McElwee Of Urbandale, IA, formerly of Buffalo, NY, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, peacefully passed from the loving embrace of her family into the loving arms of God on March 14, 2016 at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, IA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on Friday, March 18 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Urbandale. The Mass will be followed by a luncheon at the Parish Hall and burial in the Veterans Section at Glendale Cemetery, Des Moines. Visitation will be from 6-8:30 PM on Thursday, March 17 at the Iles
Funeral Homes-Westover Chapel in Des Moines. The Rosary will be said at 5:30 PM and a Vigil Service will begin at 7:30 PM. Berenice was born in Buffalo on July 28, 1922 to Vincent and Mildred McElwee. She married Captain Nicholas John, Sr. on June 16, 1949, and they shared 57 years together. Berenice loved her 30 years as a career military officer's wife, living overseas and throughout the United States. Berenice and Nick moved to Urbandale in 1973, upon retiring from military life. Berenice leaves a legacy of faith, love and joy for everyday life with her family. She will be dearly missed by her three daughters Karen M. Grunzweig of Urbandale, Lucille M. Grunzweig and her husband, Don Hruby of Des Moines and Lisa M. Grunzweig of Urbandale; her four sons Nicholas J., Jr. of Iowa City, IA, Mark E. of Des Moines, Jon M. and his wife Robin of Mission Viejo, CA, and Paul S. and his wife Kris of Great Falls, MT; her 12 grandchildren who were the joy of her life: Kristina and her husband Ben, Dan, C.J. and his wife Katie, Kevin and his wife Tiffany, Angela and her husband Brian, Cole, Matt and his wife Leah, Elizabeth, Summer and her husband Jason, Eli and his fiance;e, Caitlyn, Danielle, and Dawson; her 14 great-grandchildren who lit up her life: Shane, Hailey, Treyten, Charlie, Austin, Owen, Lilly, Jacob, Henry-Pete, Logan, Alex, Oliver, Hayden, and Evie; her sister,Lucille Merlihan; her beloved nieces and nephews, cousins and dear friends. Berenice was preceded in death by her husband, her father and mother, her stepmother Kathryn Schweigert McElwee, her uncle and aunt Thomas and Pauline Burns, her uncle, Emil Balthasar, her aun, Julia Balthasar, her sisters Corinne Squelch and Natalie Hassen and her great-granddaughter, Abigail Noelle Reyes. Berenice expressed her faith through her loving care for her husband, her family, her church and community. She had a passion for lecturing and volunteering at her church, was active in a military wives' group, loved collecting antiques and playing bridge with her friends. She was a member of Passages and was active in its inception as the Rainbow Center. Above all, she delighted in her family and expressed her loving spirit and joy for life by making everyday events and family milestones into memorable celebrations. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill of Iowa (NAMI) and to the Foundation of St. Pius X Church in Urbandale, IA. Memorials and cards may be sent to the Family of Berenice Grunzweig, c/o Westover Chapel, 6337 Hickman Rd., Des Moines, IA 50322. Online condolences are welcome at

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