Bernadette was born on January 26, 1934 in Winterset, Iowa (birthplace of John Wayne, wink!) to E. F. and Sylvia (Bongard) Schildberg and two older brothers, John and Dennis. While still an infant, her family moved to Greenfield, Iowa where she grew up. The experience of living during World War II, emblazoned a sense of life-long patriotism in her and thus to her children and grandchildren.
She graduated from Greenfield High School, class valedictorian in 1951, and went onto the University of Michigan where she joined the sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta.
She met her husband James Peter Youngblood her freshman year and they were married on August 8, 1953.
As a homemaker and mother of the first two of her seven children, she managed to graduate cum laude in 1957 with a degree in elementary education and her teaching certificate. After three more children were born, the family moved to Schilling Air Force Base in Salina, Kansas, in 1962. In 1964, the family moved to Kansas City where last two children were born. While raising her family of seven children, she worked at Visitation School in the library with the Junior Books Program and was very active in the PTA throughout all of her children’s education at Visitation. With the younger children still in elementary school she also volunteered at her older children’s high schools helping to run the famous Sale-O-Rama at Rockhurst High School and various fundraisers at St Teresa’s Academy. Also during this time, she fostered a deep awareness of global concerns by opening her home on two separate occasions to foreign exchange students, one of whom has remained a lifelong friend to the family.
She was an active member of the Sketch Box Committee at the Kansas City Art Institute, and St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary. After the last child graduated from high school, Bernadette moved to Weston, Missouri, in 1987, bringing with her the heirloom peonies from her childhood that she moved from Iowa. Her passion for gardens culminated in her glorious landscapes that she lovingly tended at the farm. Bernadette passed along her love of the natural world in all forms to her children and later to her grandchildren at the beloved “Camp Mimi” where she exposed them through field trips, hands-on projects and demonstrations by local artisans to her various passions such as art, history, music, sports, wildlife, and gardening, all sans-parents. In 1984 in partnership with her eldest daughter, Kathy, they launched The Youngblood Gallery on Stateline Road in Kansas City. It later moved to Weston and was in business for 28 years.
Bernadette had a strong sense of civic action and was not one to sit by silently if she saw something wrong or unjust. She became a member of Concerned Citizens of Platte County and invited this citizen action group to use her dining room to meet. “The War Room” as the group lovingly dubbed her dining room soon became a hub of action. They met regularly to strategize their course of action against large corporations, utilities, and other groups that often had development plans that were not ecologically or environmentally sound. Due to her involvement with the Concerned Citizens of Platte County, Bernadette was appointed to the Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission which she participated in for several years. She took this position very seriously, carefully researching and studying the upcoming proposals before ever casting a vote.
Bernadette was a deeply spiritual person. She loved a good book, thoughtful conversations, beautiful sunsets, butterflies, songbirds, and her faithful dogs. She treasured her friends. She was a lover of life, a true patriot for our country, an adventurer, and teacher. She fought for everything she believed in.
The family would like to express heartfelt thanks to the physicians, nurses, and healthcare aides who helped ease her transition and to her friends and family who were devoted to Bernadette throughout her life. Bernadette’s children would also like to thank their sister, Kathy, for being their mother’s constant companion, friend and dedicated caregiver.
She is survived by her seven loving and devoted children, Jeremy (Lou Ann), Kathy (Howard Hellebuyck), Margaret (Peter Allen), Lynnie (Grady Manus), Laura (William Bruce), Matthew (OEnone), and Daniel (Jamaca), and her fourteen grandchildren, Lucas, Evan and Kristen Youngblood; Samantha and Jack Allen; Jacob Sloan (Amanda), Sarah (David Burton) Rebecca (David Burns); Henry, Conor and Peter Bruce; Audrey and Dylan Youngblood; Eli Youngblood, her great-grandchildren, Olivia Sloan, Hannah Burton, and Jacqueline Burns, sisters-in-law, Yvonne Schildberg and Marlene Schildberg, and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Bernadette was passionate about the Kansas City Chiefs, the University of Michigan and Notre Dame football and NASCAR.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to Lalmba Association, 1000 Corey Street, Longmont, CO 80501. A visitation will be held at Vaughn’s Funeral Home, Weston, Missouri from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, with Rosary beginning at 7:30 p.m. Mass of the Resurrection will be held Friday, May 9, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Weston, Missouri. Burial to follow at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Weston.
Arrangements By: Vaughn Funeral Home—Weston, MO—Ph. 816-386-2281.
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