Cover photo for Bernice Burnham Despain's Obituary
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1942 Bernice 2023

Bernice Burnham Despain

March 5, 1942 — October 3, 2023

Bernice Burnham Despain passed from this world on October 3, 2023, surrounded by her eternal sweetheart and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.


Bernice was born on March 5, 1942, in Lovell, Bighorn County, Wyoming, to her father Rulon Rex Burnham Sr. and mother Ada (Lowe) Burnham. Her family had a farm/ranch 2 miles east of Lovell and ranged cattle on Little Mountain in the Bighorns.


Bernice attended Lovell Schools and worked on the ranch, primarily cooking, cleaning, and organizing the house while her mother and father both worked. This served her well as a foundation of honest hard work and integrity throughout her whole life.


During her high school years, she met her eternal companion, Ival Johnson Despain. Once they met, there was no separating them. They were married in Lovell on January 4, 1958, and later sealed in the Logan Utah Temple on October 19, 1962.


Family was everything to Bernice. In the fall of 1958, they welcomed their first son, Steven Lee, and then moved to Laramie while Ival attended the University of Wyoming. They then returned to Lovell where they welcomed Colleen in 1961. In 1969 they added their 3rd child, another daughter, Denise, and then their 4th child, Jason, in 1975. During all of the places they lived in their early years, they were always surrounded by family and friends. Bernice was happiest serving, visiting, and caring for those close to her. We have often said she could do more by 10 am each day than most of us could do in a week. She often extended the family circle and shared her love and talents with everyone she was around.


Bernice is survived by her husband, Ival; and her children, Steve (Debbie) Despain, Big Piney, Wy; Colleen (Craig) O’Banion, Farr West, UT; Denise (Mike) Leffler, Boise, ID; Jason (Heidi) Despain, Kemmerer, WY; grandchildren, Kyle, Greg, Jessica, Nathan (Irene), Lindsay (Justin), Travis (Brittani), Westin (Jade), Melissa (Alec), Nicolle (Ryland), Eliza, Amelia, and Aaron; great-grandchildren, Ryleigh, Amy, Charly, Jax, Whit, Mario, Mia, Elliott, Skylie, Emett, Bryah, Brooke, and Lennox; her brother, Mel (Jeanne) Burnham; and many, many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Rex and Ada Burnham; brother, Rex “Buddy” Burnham; and sister, Dorothy Winterholler.


The most heartfelt thank you to: Cody and Courtney Brown, beloved neighbors of South Weber, extended family, friends, Avamere, and Inspiration Hospice.


ALL ARE WELCOME: Funeral Memorial service will be held on October 13, 2023 at 2 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints South Weber Chapel, 1401 East South Weber. Friends may visit with family on Friday from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the church. Interment, Uintah Cemetery, 1500 East 6450 South.


Services will be live-streamed and available the day of the services by scrolling to the bottom of Bernice’s obituary page at:, where condolences may also be shared.



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bernice Burnham Despain, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, October 13, 2023

12:00 - 1:30 pm (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, October 13, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Friday, October 13, 2023

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Mountain time)

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