Bernadine Davidson Spence (“Legs Carr”) of Ocala Florida passed away peacefully at the age of 96 on July 6, 2016 at Legacy House Hospice in Ocala Florida.
Bernadine was born on September 14, 1919 in Rochester New York to Joseph and Elizabeth (“Libby”) Carr. She had 2 siblings, Bobby and Thelma, who tragically died 6 weeks apart in 1926 at the ages of 3 and 5. Bernie went on to graduate from the Rochester Business Institute and worked as Office Manager at Fawcett Publications and Eastman Kodak. She loved horses, dogs, enjoyed snow skiing, tobogganing and spending time around the lake with her girlfriends in Rochester. She met and married Robert Davidson after his return from WW II in 1945 and had two sons, Robert & William Davidson. Once married to Bob, she enjoyed vacationing at dude ranches, entertaining, raising a family and dining out on Long Island. Bernie did a short stint as a lunchroom attendant at a grammar school in the 1960’s where she met and befriended David Coleman, who turned out to be the brother of her future daughter in law Amy Coleman Davidson. The two remained close and kept in touch to the end of her life. After the death of her first husband in 1971 she worked with seniors at a local center on Long Island. She also visited and then moved for 6 months to Bermuda with her two sons and Chesapeake Retriever “Rusty”. Then came condominium life on Long Island with her second husband, Jack Malin, along with the birth of her grandson, Jarrett Davidson. After Jack passed away she lived the single life until, with some arm twisting from a friend, she responded to a personal ad and met final love (and third husband), Charles Spence. Bernadine has had a hand written copy of that personal ad in her wallet ever since. Charlie came with two daughters and son in laws, 3 granddaughters and her family grew. After moving around together for a few years, they settled in Ocala Florida, on a lot that backs up to a farm and has its own resident horse, “Tigger”. Bernadine acquired one more love in her life when she was given a Cairn Terrier puppy as a Christmas gift, whom she named Harley. In case she didn’t get to tell you, he is the smartest dog in the world! He also has the most extensive palate of any dog you know, and is now paying for that with a green bean diet. And yes, there was some confusion around the house between the names Harley & Charlie!!
Bernadine and Charlie have spent their years together seeing Florida, visiting friends, dining out and keeping up with their children and grandchildren. Bernadine loved all the cards, photographs and letters she received telling of their lives, experiences and accomplishments. She saved them all and often looked back at them to relive the important moments from their lives and coming of age.
Bernadine was an avid reader of romance novels “the sexier the better” (yes that included 50 Shades of Grey). Both Bernadine and Charlie enjoyed cocktail hour with Bernie enjoying a Martini (or two), always insisting on very dry (no vermouth) which was simply vodka straight up with an olive, but we never corrected her.
Bernadine is survived by her husband Charles E. Spence, her son and daughter in law, William J. and Amy Davidson, grandson Jarrett C. Davidson, cousins Dorothy, Debbie, Linda, Peggy, Ricky and David Papineau, Daughter in law Nancy Casciero & husband Michael, daughter & son in law Wendy and Tom Schmidt and granddaughters Sarah (husband Mike), Julia and Dasha.
There will be a mass held at San Juan Del Rio Catholic Church on State Rd 13 in Switzerland Florida on Saturday July 23, 2016 at 10:00 am followed by a small reception in the Parish Hall to remember a long life well lived. If you are unable to attend the mass you are welcome to join us at the reception.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made, in her memory, to Hospice of Marion County/Legacy House PO Box 4860 Ocala FL 34478-4860