Bernie John Merchant, aged 82, peacefully passed away on September 24, 2023, with his children by his side. He will be fondly remembered for his kind-hearted nature, patient demeanor, unwavering commitment to education, strong Catholic beliefs, and above all, his love and dedication to his family. Bernie is survived by his partner, Madeline Thornton, and his three children: Paul (Toni), Nicole (Shane De Lorey), and Danielle (Chris Ziolkowski). He also leaves behind his cherished grandchildren: Caitlin, Carter, Lachlan, Peyton, Teagan, and Rowan. Bernie’s siblings, Val (Jewel) Merchant, Jim (Sharon) Merchant, and Marianne (Ken) Lysenko, as well as several nieces and nephews, mourn his loss. He was predeceased by his beloved sister and brother-in-law, Mona and Ken Cush.
Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Bernie pursued a lifelong passion for education and theology, earning multiple degrees and certifications in these fields. He held a special place in his heart for his role as the inaugural principal at St. Benedict’s School in Leduc, Alberta, from 1983 to 2000. Bernie’s retirement afforded him the opportunity to embark on numerous enriching travel adventures, which he relished.
Following cremation, a Funeral Mass in Bernie’s honor will be held on October 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. in St. Agnes Catholic Church, located at 10826-62 Avenue, Edmonton. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to pay tribute to Bernie’s memory may make a donation to a charity of their choice. To offer condolences, please visit http://www.connelly-mckinley.com.