Cynthia Aline Petersen Bernhard

May 23, 1947February 26, 2019

Cynthia “Cindy” Aline Petersen Bernhard, age 71, passed away at home on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 following several years of declining health. She was born in Endicott, New York, the oldest child of the late Andrew and Margaret Fischer Petersen.

She is survived by her husband of nearly 50 years, Dr. Richard “Dick” Bernhard; her children Barbie Windom (Troy); Dr. Christian Bernhard (Dr. Jill Reese), and Dr. Hans Bernhard (Mitch Null); and four grandchildren - Laura Windom, Trevor Windom, Eva Bernhard-Null, and Landon Bernhard-Null. She is also survived by two sisters and one brother, many nieces and nephews, and extended family.

While attending Wells College as a French major in Aurora, New York in 1967, Cindy met her future husband Dick at a college mixer. He was an assistant professor at nearby Cornell University, thirteen years her senior. They were smitten immediately and dated each other exclusively after that night. They married at The Lutheran Church (now St. Luke) in Ithaca, NY just before her graduation from Wells College in 1969. They spent their honeymoon in Raleigh, NC looking for an apartment in Cameron Village near Dick’s new job at NC State University.

Cindy was the ultimate caregiver and committed her life to caring for God’s creation. She was a devoted full-time homemaker, mother, and grandmother. She was an active parent volunteer for Wake County Public Schools during her kids’ tenure in the school system. She was a giving servant of God at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Raleigh since joining in 1970. She was particularly devoted to caring for the senior adult members, including being instrumental in founding the Eucharistic Ministry that brings Holy Communion from lay leaders to shut-in members. She was also a faithful member in the Chancel Choir every Sunday, even including singing with the choir two days before her death..

Cindy also took great pride in her garden and sewing projects. In earlier years, she was an avid bowler at Western Lanes on Hillsborough Street and tennis player at the NC State Faculty Club. She loved to keep her mind sharp by playing daily crossword puzzles and learning new languages. She took advanced level Norwegian language classes during Dick’s two sabbaticals in Norway. She prided herself when she stumped a guest teacher who wanted to guess Cindy’s native country based on her Norwegian accent.

The teacher stated emphatically that he was certain that Cindy was not an American. Cindy and Dick moved from their home of 40 years in Cameron Village to the Cypress Retirement Community in 2010. She quickly became actively involved in that community, including singing in the Cypress choir, volunteering in the community’s library, and regularly visiting and caring for neighbors.

A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, March 8, 2019 at 1:00 pm at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2723 Clark Avenue, Raleigh, NC. A reception with the family will immediately follow in the Fellowship Hall.

Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church or to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne, 300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh.


  • Holy Trinity Lutheran Church


  • Memorial Service Friday, March 8, 2019

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