Lawrence Joseph Bernard
Dad passed away peacefully at his residence, St. Mary’s Villa, Humboldt, SK on Monday October 23, 2017. He was 89 years of age.
Dad was born June 17, 1928 to Mathias and Madeline (nee Allen) Bernard. He grew up in the Trossachs area of Saskatchewan and attended Coral and Trossachs Schools. Dad had to quit school after grade nine so that he could help Grandpa Bernard with his job of maintaining a section of #13 Highway. In 1942 Grandpa Bernard passed away and Dad had to look after the cattle and do the chores.
In 1948 he began apprenticing as a bricklayer in Vancouver and Regina. Dad met Hilda Hartley in 1944 while she was a teacher at Trossachs School. Mom and Dad were married in Regina on October 7, 1950. Our family grew quickly starting with Larry (1951), then Debby (1952), followed by Gailene (1954) and finally Karen (1957). We lived in Regina at 2337 Cornwall Street.
Dad had many building skills and there were frequent renovations and improvements done to that little house. He turned part of the front porch into a bedroom for Larry. It was a huge 6×8 ft. space! We have many happy memories of living in Regina. Dad built a wooden swing in the backyard; a skating rink in the winter; set up a swimming pool in the summer and we even had a teeter totter made from two saw-horses and a plank.
Dad also spent many hours teaching us to ride a bike and then encouraged us to save money for a bigger one. He was a cub-scout leader, and avid Saskatchewan Roughrider fan. One day, he and Karen came home with a small beagle puppy which we named “Huey”. Dad was endlessly amused by Huey’s antics. The grandchildren heard many stories about that special dog that wasn’t very smart but was very loveable.
Mom and Dad were active members of Knox-Met United Church in Regina. We attended church every Sunday except during the summer months. Dad would say that we needed a holiday and the minister would always give him a special greeting when we returned in September. Dad enjoyed family visits so we spent many weekends travelling to Weyburn where the Bernard family lived and to Ogema to visit the Hartley relatives.
Education was very important to Dad. During the sixties he attended night school and completed his high-school education and two accounting courses. He became a letter-carrier in 1963 and then started the Local Government Administration course by correspondence. We remember him falling asleep many times at his little desk in the corner of the dining room. He was either tired from studying or the sounds of his daughters practising their music on the piano put him to sleep.
In 1967 we left Regina and moved to St. Brieux, SK. Dad became the Administrator of the R.M. of Lake Lenore. In 1972 he also became the Village of St. Brieux Administrator. Mom became his part-time assistant. In the early eighties Dad built a new house in St. Brieux, he was very proud of that accomplishment.
After retirement in 1991, Mom and Dad moved to Qualicum Beach, BC. They enjoyed church activities, travelling and playing cards. Dad enjoyed gardening and cultivated many beautiful roses and begonias in their backyard. Sadly, Mom passed away in 1996. In June 1998 Dad married Irene Randall. She put a smile on his face again. Irene was a feisty, humorous and sweet companion. They spent almost 15 happy years together in Qualicum Beach, Courtney, Humboldt and finally Parksville. Irene passed away in February, 2013.
Dad remained in Parksville until 2015. He then moved to a townhouse in Humboldt which was just down the street from Debby and George. His health failed in August of this year and he spent time in the hospital until moving into St. Mary’s Villa, where he passed away on October 23, 2017.
Lawrence will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by his four children: Larry (Sandra) Bernard of Regina, SK and their children: Danielle (James) Wilson, Meagan (Shawn) Anthony, Colleen (Tyler) Grubb; Debby (George) Varga of Humboldt, SK and children: Andrea (Leo) Fafard, Jennifer (Ryan) Puetz, Alisa (David) Coquet, Richelle (Dylan) Coquet; Gailene (Willie) Gallais (Pathlow) and children: Nicole (Dan) Edge, Trixie Gallais, Dustin (Amanda) Gallais; Karen (Lawrence) Assie’ and children: Sean (Brett) Assie’, Greg (Simran) Assie’ Christopher Assie’; twenty-four great-grandchildren; brothers Ross Bernard and Norman (Gwen) Bernard; brothers-in-law, Ted (Donna) Hartley, Roy Forrester; sisters-in-law, Doris Todosichuk, Milly Hartley; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Lawrence was predeceased by his first wife Hilda (nee Hartley) Bernard (1996); second wife Irene Randall (2013); parents Mathias and Madeline (nee Allen) Bernard; two sisters Kathleen Lowenberger and Thelma Forrester; five brothers-in-law: Rudy Lowenberger, Jackson Hartley, Harry Hartley, James Hartley, Steve Todosichuk; four sisters-in-law: Elizabeth Bernard, Shirley Hartley, June Hartley and Elsie Hartley.
The family wishes to Thank all of the staff at the Humboldt District Hospital and at St. Mary’s Villa for the excellent care and kindness they provided Dad.
We would also like to thank Dave and Shirley Bolden for being such supportive friends to Dad.
A private family funeral service will be held at a later date.
Memorial Donations may be directed to St. Mary’s Villa Foundation P.O. Box 1743 Humboldt, SK S0K 2A0.
Schuler-Lefebvre Funeral Chapel, Humboldt, SK (306-682-4114) www.schuler-lefebvrefuneralchapel.com