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Boyum, Bernice Larson, 1922-



  • Existence: 1922-

Clara Bernice Larson, WAVES (Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service) enlistee, social worker and women's dean, was born on July 15, 1922 in Story City, Iowa, and raised on a farm near Ellsworth, Iowa. After graduating from high school in 1940, she worked as a nanny and domestic servant for a Jewish family in Des Moines, Iowa. Wanting to attend college but lacking the financial means, Larson worked at a variety of other jobs, and farmed on her family's farm until she decided to enlist in the Navy WAVES in 1943.

She attended boot camp at Hunter College in New York and was transferred to Columbus, Ohio, and then to Great Lakes Naval Station in Chicago. Larson served as a supply office worker and achieved the rank of storekeeper, second class, by the time she was honorably discharged in February 1946.

Larson used her benefits from the Servicemen's Readjustment Act (commonly known as the GI Bill) to attend college and graduated from Luther College in 1949 as a social studies major. Larson found employment as a social worker with Lutheran Social Services in Des Moines. She married Arnie Boyum. When they adopted a child in 1962 she stopped working outside the home. Boyum later became dean of women at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. Boyum is a member, and co-historian, of the Des Moines chapter of WAVES National, an organization of former WAVES that undertakes community support work.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Bernice Larson Boyum papers

Identifier: IWA0194
Abstract Ellsworth, Iowa, woman who served in World War II.
Dates: 1943-1993