A tribute to Grandma


From: Mary Yahnke
Retired Goodview School teacher

Goodview School has recently been saddened by the passing of a former staff member, dedicated volunteer and friend. Most knew her as Bernetta Kouba or “Red.” At Goodview School we just called her “Grandma.”

Grandma made her first connection with Goodview School when her grandkids attended the school. For more than 20 of her golden years, she gave her willing assistance to the students of the school. I remember well her last year of service.

Grandma, at age 87, would arrive at school at around 10 a.m. and greet and chat with the office staff. She then proceeded to wash the cafeteria tables to be sure they were spotlessly clean for lunchtime. Playground and lunchroom duty came next. Here, Grandma conversed with the children, assisted in solving playground problems, opened milk cartons, wiped up spills, and dished out kind words and hugs. In the afternoon, Grandma moved on to Mrs. Weaver’s first grade classroom. She enjoyed listening to the students read. She kept notes on each of them and praised their progress. She gave assistance wherever needed and special care to any struggling student.

Grandma’s goodness was recognized throughout the school. The staff enjoyed the sweets she brought to share, especially her angel food cake. Students were often rewarded with a sticker or small treat. At the end of the school year, all students were given a warm, fuzzy puffball with the expressed wish for a fun-filled, safe vacation. What an amazing lady!

Grandma would’ve celebrated her birthday of 91 years on December 15. During this holiday season, we can all learn lessons from how she lived her life. Every day has a purpose. Be kind. Do what you can to help. Be willing to offer a smile or a hug. Care about others. As a role model, Grandma was an inspiration, and she demonstrated so well that the littlest things in life can make the biggest difference.

Happy birthday, Grandma! We miss you! God bless you!


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