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Emily Bernice Chapman, 79
Kind and self-assured, Bernice always had a passion to enrich the lives of children: A former home economics teacher, she coached girls' basketball and even today "gets a kick out of children's expressions and reactions," says her daughter, Victoria. Bernice, who spent her childhood in Abbeville, South Carolina, lives in Philadelphia and is a devoted Seventy-Sixers fan. But she proved her encyclopedic basketball knowledge one day in Los Angeles, when she saw four members of the Cleveland Cavaliers outside a restaurant. "She greeted three of them by name," says Victoria. "I was floored!" Such moments have been fleeting since Bernice was diagnosed with dementia four years ago. "The hardest part is the open-endedness of the process, and watching my mother devolve before my eyes." As for Bernice's husband of 53 years, Lee, the road has been one of both challenges faced and lessons learned: "It's been a great opportunity to grow in patience and endurance."
— Frank J. Yuvancic
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