Bernardi, Mary

April 2nd, 2010

Mary M. (Froio) Bernardi passed away peacefully in her daughter’s home on April 2, 2010 at the age of 101.

She was born on June 17, 1908 in East Boston, the daughter of the late Rosina (Brenci) and John Froio. She joins her husband Alfred C. Bernardi, who died in 1981.

She was a woman of simple beginnings and simple means. She was the oldest of eight children and went to work at the age of 14 to help provide for her family. She worked in a cigar manufacturing plant and went on to spend most of her career packing candy at Schrafft’s chocolate factory in Charlestown, from where she ultimately retired.

With little more than factory pay, thrift, and good planning she was able to accomplish many things. These included putting her children through both parochial school and college. She bought lumber a stick at a time as she could afford it. During her life she renovated three houses, and designed and built a home in Reading. She also built a lake side cottage, which she loved.

She lived on her own in a retirement community in Florida for 24 years after the death of her husband. She enjoyed dancing, dining and the company of other seniors. She later moved back to New England where she lived in the homes of her daughters. She particularly enjoyed time spent at the Buzzell Senior Center in the last decade of her life.

She was fond of telling stories that reflected life and times of long ago, such as when meat bones would be saved and brought down to a horse drawn wagon to be traded for soap; when a refrigerator was a simple box and the ice to keep it cool was bought daily. She remembered kerosene lamps and gas lights that preceded electricity and would marvel at being able to simply turn on an electric light with the flick of a switch.

She was the beloved matriarch of her family, which included her daughters Dorothy Getty of Wilmington and Barbara Schindler and her husband John of Chelmsford, her grandchildren Mark Getty and his wife Debra of Pelham, New Hampshire, Laura Grant and her husband Douglas of Edinburgh, Scotland, David Getty and his wife Lubelia Goncalves of Wilmington, John Schindler of Roxbury, and Kendra Sheridan and her husband Rob of Jamaica Plain, and her great grand children Catriona, Arianna, Angela, Sienna, and Mason. She is also survived by her sister Matilda Neilson Brill of North Palm Beach Florida.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Friday, April 9th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass as St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery. Visiting hours Thursday, April 8th from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Memorial donations in Mary’s name may be made to Visiting Nurse Hospice, 607 North Ave., Suite 17, Wakefield, MA 01880.


3 Entries in Guest Book for “Bernardi, Mary”

  1. John Gerhatrz says:

    Dot and Family, please accept my condolences, on the passing of your Mother and Grandmother, cherish the memorys of her and the good times spent with her. Your in our thoughts and prayers. John & Kris Gerhartz

  2. Lisa Roberts says:

    Having been a part of your family since I was 15 years old, I almost feel as if I have also lost a grandmother. She was an amazing person and I feel blessed to have had her be a part of mine and my children’s lives. I especially enjoyed our annual glass of wine at your family events. I will miss her and her stories. You are always in my thoughts. Love, Lisa

  3. Anita Gleason says:

    This may seem a strange note, but it is from the heart. I don’t know that I am familiar with any of your family,but….the family contact is Schrafts’. My mom died 2 yrs ago and was also an employee there, in her early married years. She always spoke about the line and the wonderful times she had there..she met my dad there! My mom took away the talent to put a delicate touch to everything she did. You could see the precision they all learned, and the pride in their accomplishments. A wonderful group of people are passing, and we can all be very proud of their independence and the pride they passed down to our generation. God Bless your family and the wonderful long life you had with your mom and grandmother.

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