I am pleased that my parents, Vera Schafer Cook and Casper Cook, gave me an unusual name Bertine. I was Berdie, Bert, and later I used my full first name. I was born in Pewamo and graduated from St. Joseph grade school and the Pewamo High School. I was the second child in a family of four. My cousin Jean and I decided that we had the perfect childhood. We had over 12 kids in our country mile and had many ball games, plays in the corn crib, playing in the barn, fishing, free outdoor movies in Pewamo shown on a building, rides on a stripped down car, and wading in the creek. I met my future husband, Leon Thelen, at my sister Eileen's wedding and we celebrated our 66th Anniversary before he passed in 2019. With my family's help, I was able to live in the same house since 1955. When I was single, I worked for the Michigan State Police for five years, leaving the work force when I got married and had children. After the family grew up, I worked for the Clinton County Clerk’s office for many years. I was Catholic, an Eucharistic Minister and enjoyed volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul store, (I believe, I was the longest volunteer in the store, I was there before Dolores), the Sparrow Clinton Gift Shop, was President of the St. Joseph Altar Society, collected fabric, and beanies for the Haiti quilt and dress project, and helped our children with their 4-H Leader dogs. I was also a member of the Red Hot Attitude group with the Red Hat Society. I enjoyed cam-cording, photography, house plants, (especially orchids), crocheting, auctions, and the computer. We traveled to all 50 states and some foreign countries. My husband Leon and I had 9 children and great in laws, how lucky we were!! Our children are: Lu Anne and Don Cuthbert, Leon (Lee) and Marilyn Thelen, Joseph (Joe) and Lynn Thelen, Edward (Ed) Thelen, Therese and John Nelson, Patrice (Pat) and Butch Van Nortwick, Michael (Mike) and Jane Thelen, Thomas (Tom) and Brenda Thelen, and Philip (Phil) and Kellie Thelen; 23 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Our home had endless memories as well as endless M&M's. I made well over a hundred 7 layer jellos, loaves of poppy seed bread, and parking lot salad. (1 cool whip, 1 can crush pineapple and 1 pistachio pudding), for occasions throughout my years. And my family has yet to get tired of them! I will be joining my parents, sisters and brothers-in-law: Eileen and Marvin Thelen, Joan and Raymond Raddatz, brother and sister in law Phil and Rona Cook, and infant sister Amelia in the hereafter. A perfect childhood and a great life after that. What more could anyone ask for? Our Lord has been good to me. I want to thank my "kids and in laws" for the excellent care they gave me while in hospice. I have been blessed! Over the past 3 months I have been in hospice care with my family as caregivers. We have played hundreds of card games with family and friends. I also want to thank those who prayed for me on my journey, brought food, cards, and flowers. Thanks to Sparrow Hospice Service for all of their wonderful care. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Johns, MI, at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, January 27, 2022, with Rev. Fr. Michael Williams presiding. Burial will take place at Mt. Rest Cemetery, St. Johns, MI. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 & 6-8 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI. A Vigil and Rosary will be held at 7:00 P.M. Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Threads of Love Ministry; they sew for the children of Haiti, Beanie Baby blankets, dresses, shorts and more. Their needs are cotton sheets, cotton fabrics, beanie babies and thread. At the funeral home and the church there will be drop off boxes for these items. Monetary donations are also welcome. Make checks out to First Baptist Church of Carson City with Threads of Love on the memo line or you may choose St. Joseph Catholic School or St. Vincent DePaul, St. Johns. Online condolences can be sent to www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, Michigan.