Bernyce Manville celebrates 100 years

POULSBO — The age of “five and dimes” may seem a distant institution of an era past, but to Bernyce Manville, dime-stores are just a memory away. Now celebrating her 100th birthday, Manville looks back with fondness on her years running Little Norway’s five and 10 and the enjoyment her employees and customers brought her.

“I had a store there for 28 years,” she said of David’s 5 & 10, which she owned and managed from 1949 to 1977. “It was a very busy but a wonderful experience.”

Manville was also active in the Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce. She spoke of her loyal employees who were devoted to the variety shop, and the weekly trips she made to Seattle to buy the store’s supplies. Though she enjoyed serving as a woman of commerce in Poulsbo, the experiences she’s come to cherish most over the years are the travel adventures through which she traversed far and wide. Manville spanned the globe to a list of destinations including Hawaii, Mexico and Europe. A certain trip to Bulgaria, during which she was entertained by one of the country’s most prominent educators, provided a special high point in her life.

“That was definitely an outstanding experience,” she said.

Of her greatest achievements, Manville said it was putting her two daughters and grandson through college that she really reflects upon with pride.

When asked what wisdom she has to pass on to others, Manville said she doesn’t have the secret to living a long life. Instead, it’s for each person to figure out for themselves.

“I don’t do much of that,” she said of passing on longevity advice.

Manville’s family resides in Washington and California and are inspirited by the living legacy she has built.

“We’re all very proud of her that she’s made that achievement of reaching 100,” said Barbara Cleveland, Manville’s daughter. “It really has been exciting putting it all together.”

Cleveland said one of Manville’s sisters lived to the age of 102, and many of her other siblings reached well into their 90s, meaning the family must come from healthy stock.

“We’ve told mother that she needs to set the record for the family,” she joked. “Strong genes is the key.”

Cleveland said she remembers David’s 5 & 10 as a customer favorite and “a real establishment in those days,” complete with an old-fashioned candy counter, cards and Scandinavian souvenirs. But she said it is Manville’s outlook that has truly been an influence.

“I think that she’s always enjoyed life and enjoyed people,” she said. “She’s a very positive, up person... She truly is an inspiration.”

Manville celebrated her centennial birthday with family Aug. 28 in Port Ludlow, where she now lives. Before running David’s 5 & 10 in Poulsbo, she lived in Wisconsin, Wyoming, Canada and California, where she met her husband, Walt.

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