March 16, 1937 – October 01, 2022
A woman of noble character who can find? She is worth much more than rubies. (Proverbs 31:10)
Bernice Louise Horton Farley entered the presence of God on October 1, 2022. She was born March 16, 1937 in McMinnville, Tennessee to Lerel Vale (LV) and Ruth Comer Horton. On Thanksgiving Day 1954, she met the love of her life, Denver Altman Farley (March 1934 – October 2012), who happened to be visiting Georgia Christian School where she was a student. As Denver began her studies at Florida Christian College, they communicated by writing daily letters to each other, all of which survive to this day. In the years following Denver’s death, Bernice would read the letters and comment that “it feels like Denver is sitting here with me.”
After graduating, they were married on July 1, 1955, and she joined Denver in Temple Terrace, Florida, where he completed his studies to become a minister in the Church of Christ. The years to come would take them to many churches in Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida, and see them foster four children. Bernice has skillfully managed the house, always creating a welcoming home within days of moving into a new parsonage. As the “preacher’s wife”, she was an accomplished hostess, providing a welcoming atmosphere to hundreds of people at home and at church functions over the years. She taught Sunday School in kindergarten through kindergarten classes and supported Denver’s work as the strong, dependable, and loving partner he needed to successfully serve congregations. For more than fifty years they have been involved full-time or part-time in the work of the Church.
Music was an essential aspect of his life. In high school, she received professional training from Ray Walker of the Jordanaires Quartet and developed a fine soprano voice. As a teenager, she performed as part of the “Triplets”, an all-female trio that included her sister, Billie Ruth Horton Mason, and her best friend, Mary Joyce Wisenbaker Green. Over the years, Bernice’s beautiful voice has added richness, depth and inspiration to the hundreds of Churches of Christ worship services she has attended. In the 1970s, she was a member of “The Singing Americans”, a singing group based in Valdosta that performed for the community and throughout the Southeast. Singing brought her a lot of joy throughout her life.
Additionally, she was a classically trained pianist and organist who not only mastered the works of Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, and many others, but could play modern and contemporary tunes with aplomb. A piano bench overflowing with sheet music testified to his piano prowess. For many years she gave piano lessons to neighborhood children and occasionally managed Turney’s Baldwin piano store in Valdosta where she successfully sold many pianos and organs while overseeing the store.
Her love of music and art was further expressed in her oil paintings and pastel drawings, sewing designer clothes for herself and her children, home decorating and gourmet cooking. She passed on to her children the love of music and the arts by raising them from an early age in an environment of music, reading, painting and singing. Always aware that “preacher’s children” would be held to a higher standard, she thoughtfully and courageously allowed her children to be themselves while instilling in them the Christian values to live by.
Bernice lived the Christian life without fanfare and without seeking credit or attention for her acts of kindness. Whether it’s passing a few dollars to someone who had no money, providing clothes and household items to needy families, paying for medical care for a family friend destitute, sewing a special outfit for a girl, recording textbooks for children in special education, or sitting quietly and listening to someone pour out their worries and problems, she exemplified the Christian spirit. Through many years of suffering from her own illnesses and declining health, she continued to do all she could to be an example to others. She is deeply loved by her children and her influence will always be with them.
In 2009, she and Denver retired to Lake Park, Georgia to live with her daughter, Andrea. In 2018, she moved to Peachtree City to live with her daughter, Laura. She is survived by her four children and their spouses: Andrea and Edward Fussell (Lake Park, Georgia), Laura and Hoyt Haynie (Peachtree City, Georgia), Mason and Marlene Farley (Bardstown, Kentucky), and Paul and Brittnye Farley ( Adams, Tennessee). She is also survived by her brother, Bob Horton, and his wife, Twinkle, and a large extended family. She was predeceased by her parents and her sister, Billie Ruth Mason.
A private service will be held with interment at Dasher Cemetery in the shadow of where she and Denver met on that fortuitous day in 1954. Carson McLane Funeral Home is overseeing arrangements. Condolences can be submitted online at www.mclanecares.com.
Vaya con Dios, dear mother.
Vaya con Dios, with love.
Bernice Horton Farley | obituary
March 16, 1937 – October 01, 2022