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Bernice (Koziol) Labedz
Class of 1937 - Inducted 1993
Bernice Labedz was inducted into the SHS Hall of Fame in 1993.
She became Nebraska State Senator for District 5 (South Omaha) when Eugene T. Mahoney resigned the position. She was known as the mother of the district with tons of relatives (including 16 siblings), friends and admirers. She is a polka dancing Polish gal and her and husband are members of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church. She was also a fierce debater on the legislature floor.
She attended St. Francis Catholic grade school, and while at SHS she took typing and shorthand, returning to the principal’s office after graduation for post graduate classes. She made sure all of her children attended college which she financed by typing business solicitation envelopes for Boys Town in her home. She eventually had 200 women working on this project. Most of them used the money to send their children to parochial schools. She was introduced to politics at her family’s kitchen table, and became involved in Edward Zorinsky’s campaign for Mayor of Omaha. When he won, he hired her as his Executive Secretary. She also served as Public Relations director for Falstaff Brewery. Her predecessor, Gene Mahoney, said “I doubt if you could find a more loyal, hard-working senator in representing her district.”