Rachel Clare Bernardi

June 25, 1991October 7, 2021

Rachel Clare (Spiess) Bernardi was born in Edmonton, June 25, 1991, and passed away on October 7, 2021. She was surrounded by her family and friends.

Rachel was vivacious, embracing both people and life wherever she went. She was born, grew up and lived in Edmonton, AB. Already as a toddler, she loved to pick up rocks, run after the birds, sing and plunk away at the piano. She enjoyed several childhood activities including Girl Guides, swimming, dance and piano lessons and embraced all new challenges with great zest and determination.

At age 10, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer affecting the lymphatic system. The chemo and radiation required to treat this cancer, caused a secondary cancer, Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia, at age 12. Treatment again consisted of chemo, radiation, and a sibling bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, Rachel was diagnosed a third time in May 2016, with Stage IV ER/PR-positive, HER2-negative Breast Cancer, caused by the radiation required for the original disease. Despite the long shadow of illness and treatment, Rachel’s tenacious personality continued to shine, impacting all whom she met. It became common knowledge among the many oncologists, doctors, nurses, and medical staff who helped her, that she broke all the rules and refused to let cancer determine who she was and how she would live her life.

After graduating from Holy Trinity High School in 2009, she went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree (Grant MacEwan, 2017) while cultivating her metamorphic love of gemstones and music. She was able to travel to Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and various parts of Canada, happily bringing home rocks and seashells as her favourite souvenirs. Her last rock-hounding trip concluded with a fistful of rocks from Jasper, AB.

In 2009, Rachel met Zachary, while working at Cineplex. They were soon to be found bonding over popcorn and movies. Their love (for movies) never abated and after many late nights and the growing need for coffee, they both found promising job opportunities at Starbucks. Rachel continued to work until the last few months of her life and gained many close friends from the different stores she worked at.

Zach and Rachel were married August 20, 2017, at the Whitemud Creek Community Center, Edmonton, in the presence of family and friends. They began marital bliss with the addition of Artemis, Bella, and Nebula, three crazy cats, who, along with NaCl (Rachel renamed) filled hearts and home with chaotic joy.

Rachel leaves behind her husband, Zachary Bernardi, her parents, Wieke Steynen and David Spiess, siblings, Jonathan, Annaliese, Paul and Abigail, parents-in-law, Val and Dave Bernardi, sister-in-law, Madison, niece, Lily, and numerous grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and her cherished kitties!

With grateful hearts, the family wishes to acknowledge the attentive care provided by Pilgrims Hospice Society (Roozen Family Hospice Centre), the continued support of Dr. Joy and other staff at the Cross Cancer Institute, and the Kids With Cancer Society who have accompanied Rachel, and her family, over the course of many years. In lieu of flowers the family wishes donations to be made to the Kids With Cancer Society, in Edmonton, AB.

A Prayer Service will be held on Monday, October 18, 2021 at 6:00p.m. at St. Basil's Ukrainian Catholic Church (7007 - 109 Street). Livestream link:

Funeral Divine Liturgy for Rachel will be held on Tuesday, October 19 at 10:00a.m. Livestream link:

Interment to take place at St. Peter's Lutheran Church Cemetery.

"Attendance will be limited due to Covid 19 Restrictions"


18 October

Prayer Service for Rachel Clare Bernardi

6:00 pm

St. Basil's Ukrainian Catholic Parish

7007 109 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T6H 3B9

19 October

Funeral Service for Rachel Clare Bernardi

10:00 am

St. Basil's Ukrainian Catholic Parish

7007 109 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T6H 3B9


Rachel Clare Bernardi

have a memory or condolence to add?

John Tackaberry

October 16, 2021

I’m very sorry to hear your sad news. My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time.

Val Figliuzzi

October 16, 2021

I am so saddened to hear this news. I remember Rachel with such fondness and what an amazing and inspirational young lady she was all. My condolences

Andrew Bernardi

October 16, 2021

Zach, we are so sorry for your loss. Although we never met Rachael, we can tell that she was a light and inspiration. Also loved by many. It sounds like you both enjoyed your lives together to the fullest and no one can take that away from you Zach. Rachael will always be with you in your mind and soul. Sending all our love and support
Andrew Bernardi & Judy Krusky

Walter Maggiolo

October 16, 2021

We are truly sorry for your loss Zach, Lynda and I want to extend our deepest condolences to you and your family. We have never had the pleasure of meeting Rachel but its plain to see that she lived her life with courage, grace and compassion, something that we can all draw strength from.
With much love
Walter and Lynda Maggiolo

Joanne Jones

October 15, 2021

😓I’m so sorry to learn Rachel lost her long courageous battle to this terrible disease. Thank you for sharing such warm memories of Rachel, she was such a special lady. I met her more than a few times over the years at her Dad’s office which I also work at. I specifically remember her participating in a haunted-house Halloween event - she had a blast and I got to see the really fun side of Rachel, she was a lovely woman and will be missed by so many. My heart goes out to her beloved Zack, her Mom and Dad, and all who’s life she touched. When a loved one is ripped from our lives like this, way before their time, no words can erase the pain of the tragic loss💔.
I'm sending her family and loved ones my sincere condolences, and my strength and light to help you through the days, weeks and months to come as you learn to live without Rachel in your lives. And may your memories and the love you have for her keep her in your heart and offer comfort during this difficult time. May your special Angel finally Rest In Peace, and fly free until you all meet her again.

Brian Bernardi

October 13, 2021

Sending our condolences to Zach and Rachels family.

Vicki Schultz

October 13, 2021

Rachel was married to my nephew Zach, so one day the family was coming over for Thanksgiving supper and I spent quite some time cleaning up for the event.
When Rachel and Zach arrived I noticed that I forgot to dust my staircase and mentioned how I hated dusting.
Well Rachel gave me the best advice ever and said, " well then don't do it."
So if and when I do dusting I take a moment and remember the wise words from Rachel. I don't need to dust, I should be enjoying life. Thanks Rachel.

Cathy Bernardi

October 13, 2021

Rachel was a lovely woman. I met her as a teenager when Zach and Rachel stayed at my home. I remember her sharp wit and laughter. Her memory will live in my heart forever. A young soul taken too soon. My deepest sympathy go to Zach, my family and her family. She fought a long battle and she carried on with grace. All my love, Rest In Peace.❤️

Edward Cimerman

October 13, 2021

Dave so sorry to hear about your loss and remember all the good things she did in her life she sounds like she was a wonderful person.