MADISON - Charline Bernadette Browning Stevens was in this life from January 31, 1928 until April 27, 2016.
Bernadette was born in Madison, the fifth and last surviving child of C. Bernard Browning and Patricia Bridget (Manion) Browning's seven children. Growing up on the edge of the Greenbush neighborhood, she was the quintessential "townie," even having graduated from Central High School, 1946. She was wont to find a way to figure out a Madison connection between herself and family and many of the people she met. This is a penchant she passed along to her children and grandchildren.
Bernadette was fond of saying she had had a good life. It also was punctuated with periods of great happiness especially being a part of the daily life of many of her grandchildren to whom she was "Grams". She placed a high value on maintaining a sense of humor and not taking oneself too seriously.
Bernadette worked as a bartender, waitress, and for several state agencies. She retired nearly twenty-five years ago from the WI Department of Veterans Affairs. She lived alone and independently until January 2016 and, as if to have one last laugh, this feisty, strong-willed woman moved toward her final journey quietly.
Some of the rules for getting along with Bernadette were: always be courteous to the waitress, do not be a picky eater, back the car into the driveway, and vote Democrat.
Bernadette is survived by her children: Janet Stevens; Tom and Mimi Stevens; Mike and Nancy Stevens; Patty Stevens Blum; David Stevens and Wei Han; and Carol Stevens. Her daughter, Jean Stevens aka Beanie predeceased her, 1994. Also surviving her are 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; and, her former husband and his wife, Ray and Mary Stevens; and, many nieces and nephews.
Services will be private with a Celebration of Mom's Life at a later date. Bye, Mom. Beanie and you can share the laughs now.