Obituary: Bernadine Ware Staten

Bernadine Ware Staten, the last-born child of six of the late Luke Ware and late Everist Watkins Ware, was born in Monroe, LA on July 23, 1957. Bernadine departed this life on July 28, 2020 in Monroe, LA.

Bernadine accepted Christ at an early age at her family’s church, St. Matthews Church of Christ Holiness in Monroe, LA. Active in the church, Bernadine served as the Second District Essay Contest Coordinator using her gift as a writer to teach others how to express their love of Christ via words. Additionally, she served on the Hospitality Committee and was a seamstress for the Daughters of Ester. Bernadine leaves behind a legacy of teaching even within the church. She served as the Nursery Director every Sunday in the 90s and helped to establish a program that implemented Black History in the church by helping the youth create display boards and presentations that showed the children’s knowledge of their history.

Bernadine attended Swayze Elementary School before attending Ouachita Junior High and Richwood Junior High School. Bernadine went on to graduate from Richwood High School in 1975. Upon her graduation, Bernadine attended Northeast Louisiana University, where she majored in Journalism. While at NLU, Bernadine charted the Beta Theta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc on February 13, 1977. Bernadine, a highly motivated individual, graduated early from college in 1978. Bernadine furthered her education at Grambling State University, where she received her teaching certification.

An esteemed member of Zeta Phi Beta, Inc, Bernadine continued her sisterhood with the Epsilon Omicron Zeta Chapter in Monroe, LA for over forty years. She served as a Youth Advisor in the Archonettes program, served on various committees within the local chapter, and attended many Regional and National workshops and conferences to better prepare herself for the work of Zeta. In her passing, Bernadine leaves behind a legacy that truly embodies what it means to be a finer woman.

Bernadine began her career as a journalist in the city of Monroe at Northeast Louisiana University, where she served as an editor and writer for the campus’s Pow Wow. Bernadine then expanded her journalism career, going on to work for The News Star and The Monroe Free Press. However, her love for writing did not stop there. Bernadine later helped others publish and write their own books, screenplays, and more before her death.

Bernadine spent the entirety of her career as an educator in Monroe City Schools. She began her teaching career at Lincoln Elementary School in Monroe, LA, and went on to teach at Carroll Junior High School for more than twenty years, where she retired in 2020 preceding her death. As a Home Economics teacher, Bernadine taught many students life skills, but her years of teaching went beyond just home economics. Bernadine expanded into other subjects such as journalism, computer skills, history, and English in her later years. Many students in and around the Monroe area were impacted by the teachings of “Mrs. Staten,” as she was so affectionately known.

Bernadine was recognized as Monroe City Schools’ Junior High/Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2012 by the Monroe Federation of Teachers & School Employees. Bernadine was also recognized as Teacher of the Year in 2011 and 2013 for Carroll Junior High School. She was also acknowledged by State Representative Katrina Jackson for her service, time, and commitment in helping the Medical Magnet Students of Carroll High and Carroll Junior High School’s state competitions for the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). Bernadine’s philosophy on teaching was that “every child in this great state is entitled to a quality education to enable them to receive the key to open the doors of the world.” Bernadine truly lived by this philosophy, and greatly impacted the lives of all of her students.

Amongst the City of Monroe, Bernadine participated in many local community building projects like CITIES under the leadership of Rick Saulsberry. A beacon in her community, Bernadine worked to ensure safety, awareness, and unity around Monroe.

Bernadine leaves behind a host of successful students that she loved dearly and equally. In her death, she joins her husband, Freddie D. Staten, her brother Larry Watkins, Sr., her sister Lue Ware Reed, and her mother and father. She is survived by her loving and devoted daughter Ferlencia Mariah Staten, her sisters Beverly Watkins Abram and Everist Ware, brother Luke Ware, Jr., and a host of relatives and friends.