Obituary of Gerry Bernardo
BERNARDO, Gerald Anthony – Peacefully with his family by his side, Gerry Bernardo died on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at Bluewater Health, Palliative Care at the age of 82. Beloved husband of the late Mary Louise (2008). Loving father of Nancy Stewardson (Tom), Jerry Bernardo (Christine), Michael Bernardo (Meriç) and Brenda Pearson (Peter). Proud grandpa of Adam (Delaney) Stewardson, Josh & Luke Stewardson, Melissa (Elliot) Pecora, Zack & Kyle Pearson, Jack, Troy & Sera Bernardo. Cherished great-grandpa of Henry Pecora. Dear brother of Helen (Hugh) Raby and brother-in-law of Mary Bernardo, Joan Koshuta, Barbara McManus, Nora Shanahan, Margaret Millar and Deborah MacLeod. Also survived by many nieces and nephews each of whom he jokingly referred to as “his favourite”. Predeceased by his parents Dominic & Maria, brothers Jim, Phillip, Albert & Victor and sisters Eleanor, Isabelle and Bernie, his beloved nieces Laura and Melissa, nephews Brian & Josh and in-laws John & Nora Messeroll.
Gerry graduated from the University of Western Ontario with his B.A. in 1974 and received his Master’s Degree in 1978 from Wayne State University. He then went on to earn his Ontario Principals Certificate in 1968. Gerry was a teacher and principal with the Catholic School Board until his retirement in 1994. He spent many years working with Big Brothers of Sarnia starting in 1995, where he initiated the mentoring program. He was a charter member of the Optimists Club in Forest and a past president of the Catholic Principals Association.
Gerry was a positive and joyous person who truly loved life. Family was the most important thing in his life. He adored his wife Mary Lou, who he always described as the love of his life. This February Gerry was thrilled to welcome his first great-grandchild, Henry to the world. Gerry was surrounded by friends he loved and made part of his chosen family. Special friends included his neighbour Barb who he loved like a daughter, his trainer Lorrie and his caregivers Sue and Karen. He will also be missed by his cat Sophie.
Gerry enjoyed gardening and lovingly cared for his pansies, roses and vegetables. He was passionate about NFL football, never passed up an opportunity to learn or play a good game of Scrabble, Trivia or Words with Friends. Gerry loved to travel and he explored the world with his children and many extended family members. Gerry described himself as having a charmed life and felt most grateful for his family. His successes were measured by providing a meaningful contribution to the lives of his family and others he interacted with through his time as a teacher, principal and mentoring coordinator with Big Brother. Gerry hoped to help create something in others to help them become the best version of themselves to be significant in the world.
Due to the current COVID restrictions a private visitation will be held at the McKENZIE & BLUNDY FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTRE, 431. N. Christina St., Sarnia
Private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Benedict’s Church. Interment to follow at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery. At Gerry’s request a party will be held at a later date. As an expression of sympathy friends who wish may send memorial donations to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Sarnia-Lambton, or the Inn of the Good Shepherd, the Canadian Cancer Society or the ACCESS Open Minds through the Mike Weir Foundation. Messages of condolence and memories may be left at www.mckenzieblundy.comTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerry Bernardo, please visit Tribute Store