87-year-old Kokomo woman’s legacy will live on forever aboard USS Indianapolis

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KOKOMO, Ind. — A Kokomo native’s legacy will live on aboard the USS Indianapolis thanks to a coffee set she painted for the captain quarters.

Bertie David worked closely with Indiana’s First Lady Janet Holcomb on the final product.

The 87-year-old has an eye for art.

“Things aren’t perfect because if they’d be perfect, everybody look alike, everybody would be perfect, but it isn’t,” David said.

David can paint and sketch almost anything, so it’s no wonder she was asked to create something special for the fourth generation of the USS Indianapolis.

“Mrs. Holcomb’s secretary called and wanted somebody to do some artwork, so they called me,” David said.

David says Indiana’s first lady picked out the china and design. She got to work by doing what she does best, “make something pretty.”

“It was a coffee pot on a tray, also cream and sugar,” David said.

On the set she painted items to represent the Hoosier state, like the state’s flower, seal and the state insect, the firefly.

She had to finish the set in time for the ship’s commission ceremony.

“By the time I got to it, I only had two weeks to finish, so I worked over here probably six o’clock until midnight for a couple of weeks,” David said.

Her work was unveiled during the ceremony, which just happened to be on her birthday.

David is proud of her work and was honored they asked her to paint the china.

Her artwork is also on display in high profile locations, like D.C.

She’s painted plates for the vice president’s wife, Karen Pence.

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