Bernice Mullins was delivered into this life on January 29, 1929 at Amburgey, Kentucky. Bernice left this world
on July 3, 2004 after years of courageously battling a debilitating disease. He passed away at home just a few
short feet from his place of birth.
Bernice was preceded in death by his parents, Jasper and Sylvia Mullins, a brother, Leroy, and a sister,
Arbidella. Bernice married Bertha Sizemore, his life long companion, on January 29, 1949. Bernice enjoyed
most of his passions in life with Bertha always at his side. In the years of his illness, Bertha rarely left his side,
being there wit Bernice when he left his suffering behind.
After attending Union College, Bernice briefly worked as a coal miner and teacher, but retired from the
Appalachian Regional Hospital at Hazard with 35 years of dedicated service on May 3, 1991. While at the
hospital he became active in the United Steel Workers where he held the office of president for many years.
During this time he worked diligently to improve the conditions for his fellow employees as well as the level of
care for the many fellow eastern Kentuckians that were served by the hospital.
Bernice spent 36 years serving the children of Knott County as a member of the Knott County school board
where he was chairman for much of his tenure. Bernice oversaw many changes in the school system including
the building of the current Knott County Central complex, which includes one of the best and largest gymnasiums
strictly for high school athletics in the state of Kentucky. He also worked hard and diligently in preventing the
state from closing the Cordia High School. For his years of dedication and community service Bernice was
chosen for the Knott County Hall of Fame.
Bernice was a devoted husband and father and considered himself a Baptist in faith. Years ago while in the
hospital at Hazard, Bernice made his profession of faith known to John Preece and Danny Amburgey. He told
them he was ready to go home. Using his own words Bernice was a “strong union man” and “strong school
man”. He was a hard working man and a generous man. He did not judge a person by their pocketbook, but by
their heart. He sacrificed for his family and friends and never asked anything in return.
Bernice had many passions in life. He loved politics and always enjoyed a good election. He loved to work in
his garden. He loved to fish and hunt. But, his two most passionate past times were baseball and basketball.
He followed the Cincinnati Reds every year and every game. If they were on the air, he was there with them.
Being a Carr Creek graduate, however, basketball was his blood. He always attended the high school
tournament until he was unable and never missed a local high school or grade school game. But Bernice’s
greatest love of basketball was the Big Blur Kentucky Wildcats. As his illness progressed it never prevented
Bernice from listening to or watching the Big Blue and he always enjoyed quizzing his family and friends to make
sure they had their priorities straight. He was truly “True to the Blue.”
Bernice is survived by his loving wife, Bertha; one brother, Jasper Junior and his wife, Laris of Louisville; two
sisters, Gladys Coghill of Amburgey and Jewell Freeman of Brevard, North Carolina; one daughter, Zena Slone
and her husband, Richard, of Softshell; three sons, Eugene and his wife, Teresa, of Hindman, Harold and his
wife, Carole, of Amburgey, and Greg of Amburgey; seven grand children; 1 step grandchild; 2 great
grandchildren; 5 step great grandchildren; a host of nephews and nieces and many more friends and relatives.
Bernice has left behind this world of pain and sickness to go to a place that knows no pain or suffering. Our
temporary loss is Heaven’s gain.