Bernice Wells Ames, known by everyone as Nanny, age 79, passed away at 8:24 pm on September 4, 2020, surrounded by her loving family and friends at Saad Hospice in Mobile, Alabama. She was born to Georgia Elizabeth and Gerald Lee Wells of Morganfield, Kentucky (Pride) on October 17, 1940. She was married to her husband, Harold Stancey Ames, originally of Dekoven, Kentucky for 60 years. They married on February 21, 1960, and moved to Mobile, Alabama where they raised their family.
Bernice was a vessel of love full of empathy for others and shared her love and light with everyone she met, putting their needs before her own. She was the best mama ever and taught many by example how to be good mothers. She fed many souls, literally and physically, showing her love often through her amazing food. She is best known for her cheese potatoes, lasagna, hash browns, cheese grits (with 42 slices of cheese, so it’s been said), chocolate fudge and surprise biscuits. She was “tough as nails” with a will of iron and the ability to push through extreme pain without complaint. Many believe she could have been an Olympic talker were it a sport, and she never met a stranger that she didn’t listen to their personal story as if they were her own family and making them feel as if they were the most important person on earth. A favorite life quote of hers was to “never toot your own horn because people will find out on their own what they need to know about you.” Her life was a living example of this Bible verse: John 15:13 – “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” She laid down her life and personal needs for her family, and she raised her grandchildren as her own.
Bernice’s dream was to be an English teacher, having been a spelling bee champion, and eventually became secretary to a military general until her first child was born. She believed motherhood was her highest calling and became a stay-at-home mother until her children were in school, eventually becoming a substitute teacher and later teacher’s aide. After her daughters were grown, she went to work as a secretary at Mobile Paint Manufacturing Company where she retired after 25 years of service.
Bernice is survived by her husband, Harold, her daughters Rebecca Ames Whicker (Stephen) of Naples, FL and Rita Ames Kennedy (Roy Michael, Sr.) of Mobile, AL, her brother Glen Wells (Sandy) of Morganfield, KY, her grandchildren Kristen Carroll Stedman (Kelly) of Plainville, IN, Tyler Marcus Dunford (Amy), Travis Dalton Butler, Britney Barfield Bryan (Corey) of Mobile, AL, Courtney Kennedy LaFontaine (Taylor) of Diamondhead, MS, Roy Michael Kennedy, Jr. of Mobile and S. Keich Whicker (Stephanie) of Raleigh, NC, great-grandchildren Kolton Lee Stedman, Brodie Nathaniel Bryan, Harper Paisley Dunford, Maddux Stephen LaFontaine, Evelyn Rose Whicker, Stephen Owen Whicker and many honorary children, friends, extended family, and dog babies, Georgia and Bella. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gerald and Georgia, daughter, Regina Ames McDaniel, and great-granddaughter Lillie Grace LaFontaine.
She was a member of First Baptist Church of Dawes where she worked in the nursery for many years. We will miss her dearly, but will see her in every Blue Iris, Hummingbird and Kentucky Red Cardinal. She was a true Steel Magnolia who taught us to “HOLD ON” through difficult times. She loved us more …
Funeral services will be held Monday, September 14, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. from the chapel of Mobile Memorial Gardens Funeral Home. The family will receive friends on Sunday, September 13, 2020, from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at Mobile Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
A chapel service will be held at 10am on Monday, 09/14/2020 from Funeral Home, followed by a committal service at the grave site.