At 97, this truly amazing lady passed away in her sleep with a smile on her face. Amazing in our family’s world starts with Mom being widowed at 31 years old only two weeks after her seventh child came into the family. So an eight year old down to a two week old. She wrapped her arms around her brood, caught up on lots of things to learn and moved on. For the next 6 years our lives were consumed with cubs, scouts, girl guides, altar boys, sports, baseball, basketball, cycling and endless road hockey in Windsor, our home town. Mom missed none of it. In 1961 we packed up the family and moved to Midland ON. and joined our troop with her brother Howard’s troop and Mom became the boss of 13 kids. Hundreds of shirts to iron, meals in shifts, always with extra kids around to feed were the essence of her and our happy times.
Girl Guides and scouts and sports and family outings never stopped, including two road trips with 9 youngsters and a teenage helper all the way to the west coast one summer and all the way to the east coast another summer. (yes! in a Ford Econoline van and tents galore).
Those stories live on today.
In 1976 Mom moved to Mississauga, which became her home for 25 years. During her time there she became President of CWL, President of The Clarkson Art Society, and a member of the Mississauga Camera Club.
Wherever Bernice went she was always accompanied by her constant companion. That of course, was her camera! While we often groaned about having to pose for “yet another photo” and threatened to take her camera away, today we are grateful for the treasure trove of photographic memories she left us with.
After life got saner Mom relished in her exceptional art endeavors and her endless appetite for travel. Those travels took her to Hawaii, California (many times), Florida, New Zealand and countless cities and countries throughout Europe. Winters in the Algarve in Portugal kept the aging bones warmer while selling her paintings on the beach helped fund added night life.
Family get togethers were always large, loaded with food and raucous with stories and laughter. They were always the best of times.
Dave (Erna), Rick (Wilma), Lorne, Paulette, Elaine Clancy (Brendan), Nancy Mosley (Bruce) & Pat (Elaine) as well as cousin Sandy Brisson don’t regret a moment of our crazy lives and her chatty nature and stern guidance. Karen Short, Sue Doane, Randy, Wayne, Gerry & Bruce rounded out the Midland troop.
Today there are a load of grandkids and great grandkids who always received and have given great attention to their “Gram”.
By the way, Mom was the third eldest in the Markham family of eleven - need I say more?
Thanks, Matriarch - you were the best!
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