Saco, Maine — Berniece (Murray) VanKnowe, 86, of Saco, Maine, formerly of Old Orchard Beach, Maine and Rowley, Mass., died of natural causes, April 25, 2013, surrounded by her family.
She was born, November 9, 1926, to the late Melville and Anne (Raymond) Murray in Swampscott, Mass.
Berniece graduated from Swampscott High School in 1945. She was crowned “Miss Lynn” of Lynn, Mass. She was a striking beauty but her real beauty was her lovely personality that many were drawn to.
Berniece adopted her nickname “Nickie” from her childhood habit of calling Mickey Mouse, “Nickey Mouse”.
Nickie was married and was a very busy mother rearing five children. She had a love for entertaining and gave many beautiful parties for her family and friends. One of her gifts was her love for rug braiding. She won awards for some of the 100 rugs she braided in her lifetime. Nickie owned her own rug braiding shop in Lynn. She taught many classes in this gifted craft.
Nickie worked as a secretary for the Hunneman Real Estate Co. in Hamilton, Mass., for several years. She was a bookkeeper for various companies in Lynn and Salem, Mass.
Nickie married Donald VanKnowe in 1971. They both enjoyed entertaining at their business, Don and Nickie’s House Party, with Don singing and Nickie’s talent of playing the keyboard for the many guests that came to enjoy their music.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Don; beloved daughters, Dianne (Soucy) Pyburn and Barbara Soucy; beloved son, Leo Soucy; beloved step daughter, Rhonda (VanKnowe) Silva; her sister, Edith (Murray) Mikson; and a brother Francis Murray.
She is survived by her daughter, Eileen (Soucy) Gobeil and husband, Ronald of North Sutten, N.H., formerly of North Yarmouth, Maine; her son Lawrence Soucy of Clermont, Fla.; her stepson, Glenn VanKnowe and his wife, Sandra of Westernville, N.Y.; 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.