Died: Wed., Jul. 23, 2014

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Bernice Blaylock Rivers Lawson, was born on February 20, 1933, to Mose and Ada Blaylock, in Chicago, Illinois. 

She attended DuSable High School, graduating with the Class of 1950.  She grew up and lived on the South side of Chicago before moving with her own young family to the Near-North side’s Cabrini-Green Projects. 

Bernice married Obrey W. Rivers, giving birth to three children, Sharon A. Rivers Branch (Robert Lee, Sr.), Obrey K. Rivers, Jr., and Keith B. Rivers (Sandra).  She also welcomed to the world Susan Harris Tillery.  In 1976, she married Chester Lawson, whom she has preceded in death. 

Bernice held various positions during her working career, including working for Dee Electric Company and for the Federal Government (Social Security Administration).  She also worked for Chicago Housing Authority, where she was the onsite manager for the building she raised her children in.  She retired from work to care for Chester until his death. 

Bernice was a fun-loving mother, who played with her children, guided them through their childhoods with a loving, but firm hand, and knew and loved their friends.   She enjoyed feeding and spending time with family and friends, reading historical romances, watching vintage cowboy series and murder mysteries on television, working crossword and jigsaw puzzles, and going to the casino. 

Bernice Blaylock Rivers Lawson passed from this life on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, after a short illness.  She had lived in Indianapolis for the last nine years.  She was preceded in death by her mother and father; former husband, Obrey W. Rivers; her brother, Leroy Blaylock; and four aunts and one uncle. 

She leaves behind to cherish her memory, her four children, as well as her grandchildren, Donyell K. Claybon (Nikki); Robert L. Branch II (Nichol) and Tremaine D. Taylor-Tillery; six great grandchildren, Crystal, Donnovan, Donyell, II, Marrisa, Danielle, and Oceanna; five great-great grandchildren.  Though Bernice has preceded many of her personal good friends in death, she also leaves behind many first and second cousins and many family friends. 


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