Berna Maureen Fenwick
7 December , 1933 – 5 July , 2018
Our hearts are heavy with the passing of our mother, Berna Maureen Fenwick. At 84 years of life, after a lengthy battle, mom succumbed to the ravages of Lewy Body disease. She died at Golden Links Lodge in Winnipeg, Mb. on July 5th, 2018, surrounded by her family and friends.
Born to Muriel and Bernard Wilson, December 7, 1933 at Moosomin Union Hospital, during the dry years. She shared her grandma Ada’s birthday and was named after her father, Bernard. She grew up on an old farmstead (Confederation farm in the Woodleigh District) until 1938 when they moved to her dad’s family home in the New Finland district.
Berna went to School at Convent Creek public school (a one room schoolhouse) in Rocanville and two years at Wapella high school. During her education her loves were language and art. She loved to read so much, she would hide under her bed covers at night to continue reading her book after her parents said “lights out”. When she was little, she loved to dance, walk in the woods and pick hazelnuts, rose hips cranberries and Saskatoon’s.
She was very creative, loved crafts, drawings and from an early age loved to dress elegantly even when she played dress up! … And that never changed.
Her ambitions were to be a ballet dancer or a nurse. Her hobbies were sewing, crocheting and helping her dad in the yard. She loved plays, choir and teaching Sunday school.
Berna was the oldest of 4 children, with Stewart, Marian and last but never least- David following. Her relationship with her siblings was very important to her and they all were very close.
She used to tell us of a story about a beautiful day when Stewart and her had saddled up the horses to go to school. The day was warm and full of promise. The two of them took advantage of the day and played games on the horses all the way to school. They arrived at school and quietly placed the horses in the barn. Seeing the rest of the children coming out of the schoolhouse, they thought- How perfect! They would just blend with the other children during recess and go back in after the break. But….the children didn’t stop to play for recess. They continued to the barn to get on their horses and go home!
When she graduated from High School, She took a Secretarial course and worked in Regina for Sears and BA Oil.
She met George at the Wapella rink where she had gone to skate with her friend. George, who was living out of town, had gone to meet some of his friends. It was coffee at the Wapella café and love at first sight. She was married July 10th, 1954 to George Fenwick in the Wapella, United Church.
Because of George’s work, they moved many times. Following the jobs: Estevan, Regina, Thunder Bay, Dryden, Grand Rapids, Thompson and finally settled in Winnipeg in 1957. Lynn was born in 1955 and Miles was born in 1960.
Berna and George started Fenwick Construction in the sixties where Berna worked as the accountant for many years. George was away considerably, but Mom never let that stop her from filling her and her kids life with activities, crafts, trips to the lake for swimming, canoeing, fishing, camping and visiting with relatives all over Canada, She kept her kids after school activity calendar very full. She had the philosophy that exposure to music, ballet and other arts as well as a myriad of sports would allow us to discover what we loved and fulfill that passion. It would also “keep us out of trouble”!
George and Berna’s relationship ended in1974. After the divorce, Berna worked for Seril Martin Jewelers and then joined Del Bro Real estate as an agent. Her clients always loved her and knew she had their best interests at heart.
Berna lead a very happy and full life, enjoying and traveling extensively. She was never afraid to travel on her own or with her close friend Barb. She made sure her kids, her sister, Marian, brother David and her mom, shared many traveling experiences with her.
She volunteered for the Canada Summer games and donated her time to many other volunteer positions.
Family and Family gatherings were very important to her. She made sure to attend as many as possible as well as arranged a family reunion and numerous birthday gatherings for her mom and others.
Her interest in family genealogy grew with every year. She found a considerable amount of family secrets (no telling!) and even went to meet long lost relatives in Montana in 1990.
Berna really appreciated nature and anything pertaining to nature. Walks in the woods, watching birds, identifying wild flowers were a part of our summer experience as children that carried through to our present lives.
Berna’s children and most importantly her grandchildren, were her life. She was always there for them. She would put her life on hold for her children and grandchildren. She was always there for listening to troubled hearts, even if she could not “fix” it. Berna was a guide, a teacher, a woman who encouraged her children’s hearts and minds.
Berna is survived by her children, Lynn (Robert) and Miles (Sue), both residing in Winnipeg, grandchildren Chantele and Devin Laferriere, Miya Fenwick, siblings Stewart (Gail) from Rocanville , Marian from Kamloops, and David from Winnipeg. She loved her nieces and nephews dearly, Brenda (Ed), Joanne (Steve), Boyd (Erin), Sean (Isabel), (David (Jody), Sasha (Nicole), James (Alisa), Michael (Kim) and Jodi (Fintan).
Her father Bernard Wilson and her mother, Muriel Wilson, her grandnephews Cody and Chad Wilson as well as her best friends, cousin Marlene Martinoski and Barb Stern, predeceased Berna.
A celebration of her life, reception and internment will be held on Friday, July 13 at 2:00 p.m. at Thomson “In the Park” Funeral Hom, 1291 McGillivray Boulevard. Viewing will begin at 1:30 p.m. Anyone wishing to stand up and tell a story or a thought is most welcome to do so.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba or FortWhyte Alive, see below for details.
Thank you to Dr. Kevin Coates, for diagnosing mom and guiding us through the process, to the staff and management at Golden Links Lodge that really supported us through this terrible ordeal, especially Kim, Shirley and Tigist. I am so thankful for you, Marlies. You are a true friend to Mom and to my brother and I. Your steadfastness even in the worst of times was amazing! And lastly, but never least -Thank you David, for being there for Mom and helping us decide on the most difficult of decisions.
A beautiful life that came to an end, she died as she lived, everyone’s friend. In our hearts, a memory will always be kept, of one we loved, and will never forget.
She leaves us rich in memories.
- Viewing Friday, 13 July , 2018
- Funeral Service Friday, 13 July , 2018
- Committal Service Friday, 13 July , 2018
Berna Maureen Fenwick
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Leila Haddow-Goods (Huhtala)
8 July 2018
My deepest sympathy in the loss of Berna. I have not seen her for many years,
but I do remember her from the past. Her Mother Merle, was my nurse when
I was born (1943).
Leila (Huhtala) Haddow-Goods