Bernice Trautman

Sept. 18, 1926 – May 2, 2022


Bernice (Nunnenkamp) Trautman was born Sept. 18, 1926, on the family farm south of Aurora.

Her mother and father, Elizabeth and William Nunnenkamp, along with her six brothers, welcomed her into the family. Bernice began her domestic career ironing shirt collars standing on a chair at the ironing board at the age of five. From that time on, she was her mother’s “right hand helper,” which eventually included helping with the care of an additional brother, twin sisters and the youngest and final sister. Bernice’s hard work ethic continued through the years. She found much joy in all the work that came to her, whether hard or easy. 

Bernice’s early joys were sewing clothes for her daughters and a few shirts and “leisure suits” for her son and husband when that style was the fashion. Many prom dresses for daughters and granddaughters were constructed through the school years from patterns and a few by imagination. Her expertise as a seamstress went from prom dresses to making six wedding dresses including her own, also for her daughters and granddaughters. Quilt making became her next passion for family and church projects. Along with sewing, she enjoyed crocheting while watching TV in the evenings with rarely a missed stitch.  

Bernice was introduced to Edwin Trautman through her brother, Fred, who served in the Army alongside Edwin. Edwin and Bernice were married Sept. 18, 1947, a very hot day in Aurora. Bernice noticed sweat rolling off Edwin’s brow – heat or nerves? Following their marriage, Bernice and Edwin rented two different farms in their early marriage and had saved enough money to purchase their final farm near Sutton in 1955. Hand in hand, they farmed crops and raised cattle, hogs, chickens, ducks and four children. During this time, Bernice was involved in extension club, served as a Sunday School and Bible School teacher and belonged to Ladies Aid at Zion Lutheran Church. Bernice kept busy on the farm with feeding the animals, canning the produce from a large garden, driving trucks to haul grain, helping Edwin whenever he needed an extra hand and keeping an extra eye on her four children. They moved from the farm to Seward in 1997 and joined Faith Lutheran Church and gained many good friends.

During her children’s education, Bernice’s desire to gain her high school diploma burned in her heart and she took the leap to get her diploma with the help of her beloved friend and “teacher” Mrs. Smith. Her studies took six months to finalize this lifelong dream. Following the graduation ceremony, one statement she made was “I hoped it would have taken longer.”

Bernice left her life on earth to join her precious Heavenly Father and those who preceded her death. Her husband, Edwin; daughter, Wanda (Trautman) Sedersten; parents, William and Elizabeth Nunnenkamp; parents-in-law, Ruben and Margaret Trautman; brothers and sisters-in-law; John and Elizabeth Nunnenkamp, Eugene and Justina Nunnenkamp, Harold and Maria Nunnenkamp, Leroy and Luetta Nunnenkamp, George and Pruda Nunnenkamp, Wilbur and Laura Nunnenkamp; brother, Fred Nunnenkamp; sisters and brothers-in-law, Leatha and Clyde Mortensen, Leala and Wayne Livingston; brother-in-law, Dean MacDonald; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Don and Sedonia Trautman.

Left to mourn her passing are her children, Barbara and husband, Don Fling of Ainsworth, Cynthia Krauel, Seward, and Steven Trautman, David City; Mrs. Wilma (Dean) MacDonald, Riverside, California; sisters-in-law, Mrs. Laura (Fred) Nunnenkamp of Sutton, Mrs. Virginia (Harold) Nunnenkamp, Aurora, Mr. and Mrs. Lavern Trautman of Lincoln; seven grandchildren and spouses; 14 great-grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. 

Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at Zabka-Perdue Funeral Home in Seward with family receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral service is at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 6, at Faith Lutheran Church in Seward with interment at the Sutton Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Trautman family for future considerations. Condolences may be left for the family online at