Bernard Dewonck

October 27, 1952June 3, 2021

We are devastated to put into words that Bernard passed away on June 3. He fought a very determined battle for 4 years and was so strong right up until the end. Bernard grew up in Okanagan Centre, travelled the world as a Geologist and retired back to the family property. Travel always gave Bernard the chance to use his French, English and Spanish along with the very basics of German, Czech, Italian and Japanese. He gave his heart and soul to countless Rotary projects both in Richmond and in Lake Country. Music always played an important role in his life, and he felt very honoured to have sung with the Richmond Chorus, EnChor, Chorealis, Aura and the Okanagan Symphony Choir. He will be missed in so many circles both in the Vancouver area as well as in the Okanagan. Brenda and Bernard met at the age of 15 and 16 while playing in the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Their 45 years of marriage were cut short far too soon. His soul, his sense of humour, his thoughtfulness, and his love for life live on in Justin and Danielle, as well as his grandchildren Makenna, Carson and Sophia. Thank you to Mike and Tricia for keeping our little circle strong. Our hearts are broken, the tears are flowing but we are smiling and laughing at the wonderful memories. Thank you to all who are helping us through this difficult time. No gathering at this time due to Covid regulations. Condolences may be left to the family by visiting Funeral arrangements entrusted to First Memorial Funeral Services, Kelowna, BC. 250-762-2299


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Bernard Dewonck

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Barry Hikichi

June 14, 2021

Dear Brenda and family,

It is very sad to hear about the passing of Bernard and our condolences to you and your family.

One of my fond memories with Bernard is a photo taken when both of us were walking together for our first day to attend Okanagan Center, Elementary School. I do recall we were both late for school. Those were the days where time was not important to us but our friendship was.

Respectfully yours,
Barry and Sharon

Olivier Le Brun

June 14, 2021

Quelle tristesse Brenda. Bernard faisait partie de notre grande famille de l'Okanagan avec Gilberte et Félix, toute la smala Vanroechoudt, Paddy, Doug et compagnie. Je me souviens de grandes parties de cache cache autour de la très belle maison Dewonck en bois. Ensuite j'ai rencontré Bernard à plusieurs reprises toujours avec grand plaisir. Au cours d'une de mes visites à mon frère Eric à Riverview Bernard est venu me chercher à l'aéroport de Vancouver et vous m'avez accueilli à la maison. Ensuite on s'est retrouvé à un dîner chez Catherine Mori où l'on a parlé de poésie "Toi qui pâlis au nom de Vancouver..." et des délices du whisky. Tant de petits souvenirs qui font la beauté de la vie et de l'amitié.
Mon très affectueux souvenir Brenda
Olivier Le Brun

Graham Marshall

June 12, 2021

Brenda, we are so sorry to hear of Bernard’s death and convey our sincere condolences. What can I say, since Bernard was a constant as an older boy next door for me growing up, in an area where next doors were few and far between. I do recall when he came over for birthday parties and such that he invariably beat me in games of marbles. I also recall the privilege of attending your wedding and of course meeting up from time to time as schedules permitted.
Best wishes,
Graham and Michael

Mary Lou Miles

June 11, 2021

I have so many found memories of Bernard through Rotary and then through common interests and friendship. We carpooled downtown for awhile, we have a number of mutual friends, volunteered together at the annual Auction, spent many years on the Rotary board and shared a love of choral music. Bernard was so kind and generous with his time. After the move to Lake Country, we had the opportunity to stay and visit with the Dewonck amazing B&B. Travelling to the Okanagan for work, we shared a few breakfasts, lunches, and dinners over the years. My condolences (and Alan's too) on your loss, Brenda. Bernard will be forever in our hearts. His engaging smile and laugh will be etched in our memories. He will be missed. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Brenda.

Christine Marin

June 10, 2021

Dear Brenda and family,
My heart goes out to you for the loss of Bernard. I am so very sad to hear of his passing. I have such fond memories of him volunteering in my class, armed with boxes of rocks that he so lovingly shared, and in French! An amazing man. All my love to you. .. Chris Marin

Margarita Sewerin

June 10, 2021

Dear Brenda,
I am so sorry to hear about Bernard’s passing. My deepest condolences to you and yours on your loss.

I remember him fondly as a kind, approachable and intelligent classmate in high school, grades 10-12, during my first years in Canada. I remember having conversations about poetry (not an easy feat given my limited English!) during a spare hour when we would work on elective courses by correspondence.

It was great to see him again and to meet you at one of Catherine’s parties years later.

I hope the good memories of a life shared with him sustain you during these difficult days.


Bruce Swanson

June 9, 2021

Bernard and I were the best of friends from grade 1 to 6. My family moved to Ontario and we lost touch.
I am saddened to hear of his passing. We had sleep overs and were great pals.
I deeply regret that we lived so close yet we didn’t know it. I pray for his family on their time of loss. Bernard was a friend of my cousins in Winfield, playing in the high school band together.

Catherine Mori

June 9, 2021

Dear Brenda,

I send you and your family my condolences with fond memories of Bernard.

When I first met Bernard, it was at Winfield Elementary, our Grade 7 year. I had just arrived in Oyama.

I remember him as a quiet, thoughtful and handsome young scholar. We used to walk down the hill, as a class, to George Elliot Secondary for Band. He was an excellent clarinet player. He was also very kind. I remember, too, that his parents would pick me up and take us to les Jeunesses Musicales concerts. in Kelowna. That was very special.

Over the years, we’d meet sporadically after he’d married you, Brenda. I always valued his help and yours, as judges, with the bilingual debates we hosted. You were both unfailing in your willingness to help.

Our world has lost a bit of its lustre with his death.

All my best wishes for the whole family. I can only begin to imagine your grief at this difficult time.

Catherine (McAnulty) Mori

Judith Brown

June 9, 2021

One of the nicest people I’ve ever know. Singing in Richmond Chorus, visiting Bernard and Brenda in Richmond and in Lake Country (The B&B Bed and Breakfast) and just enjoying life with family and friends - Bernard was always a part of all things fun and fabulous. You will so be missed, my friend. R.I.P. And, Brenda and family I know all your memories will sustain you and carry you through grieving, and you will never forget this loving man. Love you!

Robert Basil

June 9, 2021

Bernie was such a lovely, wry, intelligent guy. It was always good to see him at the Coast Mountain Geological office. I take comfort in knowing that his marriage seemed to be very happy indeed and that he felt so much pride for his two beautiful kids; his profession certainly held him in the highest esteem.