The Norman Transcript


July 10, 2014

Tilda ‘Berniece’ Bryant Collett

NORMAN — Tilda “Berniece” Bryant Collett, 90, of Norman, died Monday, July 7, 2014. She was born Dec. 7, 1923, in Wanette.

She is survived by her three children, Larry Gordon Collett of Fortuna, Mo., Wilma Louise Collett Rachal of Norman and Kenneth Gilbert Collett of Olive Branch, Miss.; five grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Collett was preceded in death by her former husband, Lawrence Gordon Collett; father, M. Frank Bryant; mother, Kathryn “Katie” Malvina Gribble Cummings; the stepfather who raised her, Christopher “Cade” Columbus Cummings; sister, Flora Bell Bryant Grissom; and half brother, Robert “Bob” Lee Cummings.

Berniece grew up in Wanette, Corbett, Sulphur and Washington, Okla. She loved helping her stepfather, Cade (dad), in his grocery stores. She was a super seamstress and made all her dresses with and without patterns. Her love was making tailored shirts for Larry, gorgeous dresses for Wilma (complete with slips), can-cans and even white linen jackets. Berniece made matching dresses for her and Wilma, plus doll dresses while teaching Wilma to iron.

Berniece met Gordon through her girlfriend, Alta Collett. Gordon was smitten with her pretty blue eyes, her flaming red hair, her adorable dimples and cute little freckles on her nose and cheeks. They dated two years and Gordon proposed to Berniece one Sunday while on a fried chicken picnic in Sulphur. They were engaged six months and were married Dec. 7, 1941, on her 18th birthday.

At the wedding reception, they were told of the Pearl Harbor bombing. From then on, Gordon always said, “Two wars started that day, and one is still going on.” Berniece graduated from high school and she attended a number of night college courses at the University of Oklahoma. She was evening supervisor of PBX switchboards at OU until the dial system came in summer 1956. She worked a number of years at University Cleaners before deciding to become a beautician, then beauty college instructor in Hollywood Shopping Center.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • James K. West

    James K. West, 70, of Tulsa, passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014. Jim was born Aug, 17, 1943, in Sentinel. He was a former resident and businessman in Norman....

    July 23, 2014

  • Dr. Tibor József Herczeg

    “The ancient order opens to readmit me. I lean out on the windy stars.” — János Pilinszky. Apocrypha Dr. Tibor József Herczeg, 87, emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Oklahoma, died Monday, July 7, 2014....

    July 22, 2014

  • Elbert Don Idlett

    Elbert Don Idlett died Sunday, July 20, 2014, in Noble at the age of 60 years, 4 months and 14 days....

    July 22, 2014

  • Johnny Allen Cossey

    Johnny Allen Cossey, 55, of Noble, passed away Monday, July 14, 2014, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. A memorial service to honor Johnny’s life will be 1 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Noble Assembly of God Church, 100 W. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Steven Matthew Sparks

    Steven Matthew ‘Matt’ Sparks, 34, beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend, passed away Sunday, July 13, 2014. Matt was born Feb. 7, 1980, in Elk City. After living abroad in several countries during his childhood due to his ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Donald Leon Conn

    Donald Leon Conn was born March 12, 1937, in Lexington to Harvey and Wilma (May) Conn. He passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at his home in Noble....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thomas Joseph ‘T.J.’ Cotrone

    Thomas Joseph “T.J.” Cotrone, 36, of Norman, passed away Tuesday, July 15, 2014. He was born Nov. 21, 1977, in Queens, N.Y., to Thomas Joseph Cotrone Sr. and Deborah Lynn Carlisle....

    July 18, 2014

  • Pamela ‘Pam’ Ruth Deen

    Funeral services for Pamela “Pam” Ruth Deen will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Midway Hill Baptist Church, with Pastor Willard McCartney Jr. officiating....

    July 17, 2014

  • T.J. Cotrone

    T.J. Cotrone, 36, of Norman, passed away Tuesday, July 15, 2014. He was born Nov. 21, 1977, in Queens, N.Y., to Thomas Joseph Cotrone Sr. and Deborah Lynn Carlisle....

    July 17, 2014

  • Karen Kealy Peak

    Karen Kealy Peak, 63, of Fort Clark Springs, Texas, formerly of Norman and Tampa, Fla., was born Nov. 23, 1950, in Dallas and died Monday, July 7, 2014....

    July 17, 2014