Catholic Sentinel photo by Rick Keating  
Bernice Gruchalla, 100, with Fr. Justus Alaeto.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Rick Keating  
Bernice Gruchalla, 100, with Fr. Justus Alaeto.
Bernice Gruchalla, longtime member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, celebrated her 100th birthday with an open house at the church.

Over the years, Gruchalla served several terms as president of the Altar Society, as leader of the Mother’s Club, as grand regent for the Catholic Daughters, and with the Legion of Mary. For a long time, she made sure every baby baptized at St. Vincent’s received an embroidered bib. Before her husband George died in 2004, they served as eucharistic ministers into their 90s.

Friends and relatives joined the celebration for the woman who is known for quilting, jewelry, card-making and embroidery. She winters in Mesa, Ariz., and returns to Salem during the warmer months.