Obituary for Eleanor Bernard
With great sadness we announce the sudden but peaceful passing of our beloved mother and grandmother, Eleanor Bernard, on Sunday, October 22 at the age of 93. Cremation has taken place. A memorial mass will be held at Transfiguration of Our Lord Church, 45 Ludstone Dr., Etobicoke, on Monday, October 30 at 10:30 a.m. Mom dearly loved all animals, and would appreciate donations made to the OSPCA (ontariospca.ca), Toronto Humane Society (torontohumanesociety.com), World Wildlife Fund (worldwildlife.org), or Toronto Wildlife Centre (torontowildlifecentre.com) in lieu of flowers.
Mom lived a rich life, highlighted by world-wide travels and memorable family get-togethers. She was pre-deceased by her husband of 54 years, Bernard Joseph Bernard. She will be greatly missed by her children Doug (Kathy), Janice, Mary and Peter; grandchildren Spencer, Shannon, Elyse (Steve), Laura and Rebecca, and great-grandaughter Sophie. She recently had a beautiful visit with her niece from Australia, Kathryn, whom she hadn’t seen for over 10 years.
Mom was born in Winnipeg, MB on April 28, 1924, the youngest daughter of Peter Blusis and Pauline Yrumkolska, little sister to Stannis, and moved to Toronto with Dad, Doug and Janice in 1956. She devoted all of her married life to the care of her home and family, cooking wonderful, hard-to-replicate meals, and taking great pride in dressing her children beautifully for any of our outings. She had a housekeeping chore assigned for each day of the week, and always performed these in one of her many housedresses. Mom never mastered the skill of driving a car, so took us everywhere we needed to go by public transit – when her chauffeur-husband Bernard was not available.
Mom was known for her fabulous cooking (oh that chicken soup!), lavish multi-course dinner parties, her love of animals (especially dogs and birds); travel; flowers and jewellery. She will be remembered fondly for taking annual trips with her younger children downtown to see the elaborate Christmas window displays at Eatons and Simpsons, binge-watching The Shopping Network, her inability to work a touchtone phone or t.v. remote control, multiple sneezes (and tissues always readily stuffed up her sleeves), Survivor nights (again with sumptuous meals to enjoy as we watched), never finding the soup at restaurants hot enough, and reacting in disbelief by saying "NOOOO!" And you could go into any pocket of any piece of clothing of hers and be sure to find several mints.
Mom was extremely fortunate to have travelled the world with Dad. Hawaii held a very special place in both our parents’ hearts. They spent 14 consecutive winters there, and it seemed to bring out the best in their relationship, acting almost like newlyweds again with their favourite little routines including daily mass, breakfasts at McDonalds, and sitting on the beach with a picnic lunch admiring their beautiful surroundings and planning their next little jaunt. She continued travelling into her late ‘80’s and spent her 90th birthday on the island of Curacao, where she was the Queen of the Resort, and in her element!
Mom’s faith was very strong, and she and our Dad passed this along to her children; both were especially devoted to Our Lady of Perpetual Help – in fact, along with her father Peter, our parents donated a stained glass window at Transfiguration Church with thanks to Her. She also was devoted to St. Anthony for his amazing ability to help with loss of all kinds, and to St. Francis of Assisi, for his love of animals.
She was consistently praised as being a very social, “special” person by people who knew her even briefly. She never shied away from chatting up the person sitting next to her in any situation.
Mom was exceedingly generous, and above all else loved all of her children and grandchildren abundantly. She will be greatly missed.
Thank you Mom!