Bernice Stewart

Bernice Cecelia Stewart, aged 99, peacefully passed away on May 24, 2023. She leaves behind her six children, Patricia Cooper (Len), Charlie (Julie), Joe (Anita), Tom (Susan), James (Janet), and John, as well as grandchildren Stefan Girard (Kim), David, Thomas (Crizan), Vanessa (Jordon), Robert, James, Cecelia, Christopher, and Norman, and great-grandchildren Zion, Henry, William, Elke, Saphira, and Alivia. Bernice is also survived by her sister Letta and brother Allen. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Stewart, and her siblings Tony, Katie, Annie, Elizabeth, Rosie, Joseph, Elmer, Frances, Mary, Edwin, Doris, and Stella.

Born on a farm in Daysland, Alberta, Bernice developed a strong work ethic and a deep love for nature. From a young age, she helped her large family by cooking meals on a wood stove, collecting eggs from the henhouse, and milking cows by hand. She had a particular fondness for their expansive garden and eagerly anticipated the arrival of the first vegetables each summer.

Bernice possessed an inherent curiosity and an unwavering commitment to intellectual growth. After leaving the farm, she pursued an Education degree from the University of Alberta. She began her teaching career in Ontario and Northern Alberta, where she taught in old country schools. Her entertaining stories of living with farm families showcased her resilience and strong individuality.

In 1951, Bernice married Donald Stewart, and they enjoyed nearly 68 years of a blissful marriage. Throughout her life, she pursued various interests such as travel, curling, gardening, cooking, artistic crafts, and fitness classes well into her 80s. Known for her wit and wise counsel, Bernice was forthright and always willing to share her humorous and thoughtful words of advice.

As a mother, Bernice embodied humility, spirituality, and boundless love. Her generosity and warm hospitality were legendary among her family and friends. Visitors to Bernice’s home were delighted to be gifted her famous oatmeal cookies or delectable cinnamon rolls. Her true happiness was found in the presence of her beloved family. She will be profoundly missed but forever remembered in our hearts.

A Funeral Mass will be held at St. James Catholic Church (5504 – 20th Street SW) on Friday, August 4, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow at the same location. The Graveside Service will take place at Eden Brook Memorial Gardens (24223 Township Road 242). Instead of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to a charity of your choosing. Fond memories, photos, and condolences may be shared with Bernice’s family through the website http://www.evanjstrong.com. The family extends their heartfelt appreciation to the staff at Staywell Manor Retirement Residence and Rockyview Hospital, as well as a special thank you to Merric Morrison, who provided compassionate companionship to Bernice during her time at Staywell. Evan J. Strong Funeral Services is entrusted with the funeral arrangements. For more information, please contact (403) 265-1199.

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