Bernita Lillian Tickner was born on her great-grandfather's ranch up Miner's Creek, on June 28, 1928 to Mary Emma Vanderpool and Vibert "Dan" Weston Roff. She was a fourth generation Californian and a descendant of local pioneers. Dr. Bathhurst of Etna delivered her.
Bernita's mother, born in Etna in 1900, was a schoolteacher. Her father, born in 1898, was principally a miner.
Bernita was one of three girls born to the couple: Eva (Burton) passed away a number of years ago. Bernita's younger sister Harriett and her husband Ed Quigley live in Etna.
Bernita married Thomas L. Tickner, a veteran of World War II and descendant of local pioneers, on July 2, 1946 in Reno, Nev. The couple raised four sons: Raymond (and wife Janice) live in Redding; Gary (and wife Shirley) live in Fort Jones; William "Bill" (and companion Susan Beatty) live in Etna; and Arnold (and wife Renee') live in Etna. Family was Bernita's most important priority.
In addition to four sons, Bernita leaves 13 grandchildren – Lonnie, Annette, Brian, Alisha, Adrienne, Jared, Stephanie, Gary Don, Wendy, Mikell, Michelle, Levi and Trevor. She also leaves 13 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews.
Most people will remember Bernita as librarian, a position she filled for 27 years. While working, she became involved in the READ project and even wrote an adult book for the project. She continued to read voraciously, noting, "I even read the labels on cans."
Beginning in the 1960s, Bernita began researching her family's genealogy, a serious passion she pursued for the remainder of her life. She also helped found the Siskiyou County Genealogical Society.
Bernita was a historian and coauthored four regional history books with Gail Jenner. Their newest volume will be released in April from Arcadia Publishing. She also penned a local column on cooking, another pastime. One of her unfinished goals was to compile a cookbook for family and friends. She was also working on several memoir stories for an anthology to be published next year.
Bernita served as museum curator for the Eschscholtzia Parlor No. 112 of the Native Daughters of the Golden West (NDGW) Museum in Etna. A member for 68 years, she was a past president and recording secretary.
In addition, Bernita was a member of the Siskiyou County Historical Society and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and served as past regent and librarian. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and served as past unit and district president. Finally she was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and Backcountry Horsemen.
Other hobbies included travel. She and Tom traveled all over, always searching for obscure historical information. Locals recall that if Bernita didn't know the answer to a question about history, she would find it, and that led her and Tom on many wonderful adventures.
Page 2 of 2 - A memorial service will be held for Bernita at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at the Scott Valley Berean Church in Etna with Drew Travis presiding. A potluck will follow. Memorial contributions can be made to Rescue Ranch, 2216 Oberlin Road, Yreka, CA 96097.