Bernice Renee Montgomery was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 7, 1962 to the parents of Johnnie Mae Montgomery-Johnson and Johnnie Frank Montgomery. Her father preceded her in death. While in Philadelphia, she attended Harriety Elementary and Turner Middle. In middle school, she was among two teenagers chosen to attend Philadelphia College of Arts Saturday School, which led her to enroll in Overbrook Art Magnet High School. The family moved to Dallas, Texas where she attended Kimball High School and soon after moved to Longview, Texas. Bernice completed her high school tenure at Longview High School in 1980.
Bernice displayed a love and passion for art at an early age. She pursued her passion for art at North Texas State, where she received her Bachelors of Art in 1984. She then began her career as a Local Artist, and her talent was quickly recognized by businesses in the Dallas area. She contracted with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to display a visual story depicting the relationship between DART and the surrounding neighborhood. A total of 11 panels showcased the historical background of the community and the DART system. As her mural artistic abilities developed, she used her art talents to do murals for various hospitals and created graffiti walls that were showcased throughout the city. She also taught art appreciation to the youth and loved to incorporate them in her art projects while teaching at the Urban Alternative School under Pastor Tony Evans and in Dallas and Longview ISD respectively. Many displays of her artwork can be found on various internet sites as Bernice’s artistic ability was highly sought out by many.
Bernice gave her life to Christ at a young age while attending Bethany Baptist Church in Philadelphia under Revered A. L. Bright where she was active in the youth ministry. Her love for Christ carried over into adulthood and was fervent in her desire to please God and to share His word with others. She was known for her sense of humor, her laughter, and her jovial spirit.
She leaves to cherish in her memory her mother, Johnnie Mae Johnson; sister, Sheila Johnson (Michael); brothers, Johnny Montgomery, Jr., Willie Johnson (Gail), and John Johnson, Jr. (Ta Lesia); uncles Aaron “Tex” Thompson, Wadell Thompson (Ann), Robert Thompson (Rose), aunt, Helen Holmes (Clent), and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
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