Imelda Frey Bernard
September 16, 1927 – October 7, 2019
Imelda Bernadette Frey Bernard peacefully passed away at home on Monday, October 7, 2019, at the age of 92. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to all. Her boundless adoration of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ left an indelible imprint on her family and all of those whose paths crossed with her on her journey through life. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 64 years, Harold Joseph Bernard. Imelda was the proud mother of Marilyn Bernard, Ben Bernard (Vicki), Bob Bernard (Mandy), Jane Bernard Evans (Steve), Bill Bernard (Cathy), Monica Bernard Knauer (Joey) and grandchildren, Karen Bernard Desselles (Rob), Katie Bernard Rowe (Dan), Kristen Bernard (fiance’ Jeff Miner), Michaela Bernard Vigants (Michael), Brianne Bernard, Brad Evans (Brittany), Jonathan Evans (Kathryn), Michelle Evans Shappee (Will), Meredith, Mitchell, and Matthew Knauer, Dominick Sciortino (Jen), Susan Aucoin (Dwayne), Brady, Colette, Tyler, and Holly Bernard. Imelda was a loving aunt to many nieces and nephews with a very special relationship with one of her godchildren Barbara W. Sciortino (Dom). She was the youngest of 5 children of Severin and Valeria Waltzer Frey, sisters Adele Frey Lagarde, Melanie Frey Evans, Valerie Frey Weigand, and brother Lawrence Frey. Her parents and siblings all preceded her in death. Her faith was the foundation on which she based her life. She believed that “her love of God as #1 in her life enhanced and fortified her love for her husband, her children, and the rest of her family”. She was a member of St. Andrew the Apostle Church for 63 years. Imelda was a charter member of the St. Andrew’s Ladies Guild, with the first installation of officers held at Imelda’s home in 1973. She served as President in 1974-75. Imelda cherished her involvement in the Ladies Guild and the lifelong friends she made through the years. She enjoyed organizing spiritual Days of Reflection, open to all, including Mass and meditative walks in her beautiful yard. She had great affection for her church Study Club friends in which she participated for 46 years. Her last meeting was in the final week of her life. At the age of 85, she ventured with one of her granddaughters on a pilgrimage led by Father Beau Charbonnet to Medjugorje. For years, Imelda transported elderly parishioners, who could no longer drive, making it possible for them to attend morning Mass. As she aged and could no longer drive, she had many wonderful friends who did the same for her. She volunteered to form a birthday committee of one, and took on the responsibility of calling every Ladies Guild member on her birthday to express good wishes. As many can attest, a phone in her hands was a very powerful tool. She was involved in the Christian Family Movement (CFM). She was honored as a recipient of The Order of St. Louis, in recognition of her leadership and dedicated service to the church. She was awarded the St. George Emblem for outstanding service to the spiritual development of Catholic youth in the Boy Scouts of America. Imelda was also honored to be presented with the St. Joan of Arc Award in recognition for her dedication to religious teaching in the Girl Scouts of America. Imelda was a Den Leader for her three sons and also a Troop Leader for two of her daughters and believed in the Scouting organizations and the values and ideals it instilled in young men and women. In 1978, Imelda was humbled when she received one of the ultimate honors of her life. She was honored by the Archdiocese of New Orleans Council of Catholic Schools Co-Operative Clubs with the Regina Matrum Award, presented annually to recognize one outstanding Catholic mother who demonstrates the ideals of Catholic motherhood and family life. Imelda was a lifelong learner. She graduated from the Academy of the Holy Angels in 1944, attended Loyola University and married the love of her life on January 24, 1948. She loved challenging her mind which stayed sharp until the end. She enjoyed learning and exploring new things through People Program, doing Sudoku puzzles, and playing Rummikub with her children and grandchildren. You didn’t “let” Imelda win as attested by her beating one of her children (name withheld upon request) 6 out of 8 games in her final week of life. Imelda was a faithful friend and a sturdy shelter to all who knew her. Her love and kindness knew no bounds. In a condolence call from a longtime family friend who has since moved away from our city, said “Imelda was the face of everything good in New Orleans”. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a celebration of Imelda’s life at Lakelawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Ponchartrain Blvd. 70124 on Monday, October 14, 2019 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, 3101 Eton St., 70131 on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 11:00am. Visitation begins at 9:00 a.m. Interment will follow at St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery #3 located at 1401 Louisa St. 70017. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to Father Beau Charbonnet and to Notre Dame Hospice for their outstanding care and prompt response in our time of need. They provided the compassion and care in her husband Harold Bernard’s last days in 2011, and that experience provided her with the comfort and confidence that she was in good hands. Imelda’s youngest grandson Matthew Knauer attends St. Michaels Special School. He is a special blessing to our family and was one of many responsible for extending her time with us to the fullest. Imelda loved the mission of service of St. Michaels to our community. For those desiring to honor her memory, contributions in Imelda’s name may be made to: St. Michaels Special School, 1522 Chippewa St. New Orleans, LA 70130.
- Visitation Monday, October 14, 2019
- Visitation Tuesday, October 15, 2019
- Funeral Service Tuesday, October 15, 2019
- Graveside Service Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Imelda Frey Bernard
October 16, 2019
Rest in eternal peace, my beautiful Mama.
October 14, 2019
On a personal level, this wonderful, sweet lady had a way of looking into your eyes and measuring your soul. Through that gift, she connected with you. She made you feel a part of her family. It did not matter if the time apart was 4-hours, 4 years or 4 decades, the greeting was always the same. She looked you in the eyes, smiled, and re-adopted you into the fold. If you knew her, you know what I'm talking about.
On a spiritual level, Mrs. Bernard was one of the most godly people that I have ever met. Her walk with God personally inspired me. She reflected the image of her Savior, Jesus Christ. There is no higher calling and she lived it to the fullest, even when she didn't feel the best. Well done thou good and faithful servant. Truly, truly, truly, in this instance, our loss is heaven's gain.
To the family, I am so sorry for your loss. Right now, you feel the void she leaves behind. But know this, her spirit and presence are bigger than life. She was a Matriarch in the true sense of the word. She shared with you the glue that holds families together. Her values and principles are inside each of you. In that way, she's still here. Use what you've learned to lead your loved ones. Family is everything.
During this difficult time, I pray that the Comforter gives each of you a peace that passes all understanding. This time apart is just for a season. Life is a vapor.
One day, each of us will step from this infirmity directly into the arms of Jesus Christ. When that moment happens for me, whether it be 4-days, 4 years, or 4 decades from now, I am sure to see Imelda standing there with that smile on her face, looking me in the eyes and re-adopting me once again into the fold.
If you knew her, you know what I am talking about.
October 14, 2019
You are very special to me and I will miss you.
October 13, 2019
Words cannot adequately express the goodness of Imelda Bernard. It was always a joy to be with Imelda. She was truly a person for others. She will be missed by many, but we all celebrate her life and thank God for such a remarkable woman.
May she rest in peace,
Sister Jane Remson, O.Carm.
October 11, 2019
Mrs. Bernard - as you look down from heaven upon the world you served, know that your life was one well lived. I thank you for your kindness and especially the lessons taught to the boys of Troop 64, one you helped make among the best in the country. You not only mentored us through the various religious awards, but you were also a merit badge counselor. In fact, you taught me how to swim and I still think of you when I do my go-to side stroke that you chose to teach me first. May God bless you for everything you did for others.