Wayne Dencil Bernard, 83 wintering in Titusville, FL and summering in Gladstone, MI peacefully went to be with our Lord on December 18, 2020.
Born on May 21, 1937, his younger years were filled with music and hard work growing up on the second generation dairy farm in Garden, MI. He took over the farm in his adult years toiling over crops, cows and kids for hours on end. In the evening, he ate his dinner of a dozen eggs, loaf of toast, gallon of milk topped off with cake drowned in a bowl of milk while his children adored his intelligence helping them with their homework, calculating the complicated math problems in his head before they’d work them out on paper and send him singing the ABC’s backwards to sabotage their spelling studies. They laughed and they learned. He taught them to enjoy the simpler side of life and see wonder in the smallest of things. Wayne enjoyed playing the accordion with gusto and could bellow out a polka that compelled you to dance with every fiber of your soul. And dance he did right into the heart of the love of his life and marrying his soulmate, Laura (Bergeon) Gardner on October 7, 2000 in Escanaba, MI. Adventures took them bowling with some amazing friends, dancing at places like the Amvets, Trenary, American Legion in Gladstone: experiencing the beauty of nature such as Ruby Falls, Pictured Rocks and Niagara Falls and waterfalls throughout the U.P. During the winter in Florida, he enjoyed going to nature trails, Brevard County Zoo and especially visiting the family of sandhill cranes at Fox Lake Park. His love of nature was boundless and he could be found outside for hours simply enjoying God’s creations from the smallest flower to the largest tree to all of the birds in between. He loved gardening so much he often tracked in a plethora of dirt into the house so it looked like he was starting a greenhouse.
Wayne was a humble man of few words until he got on the phone. His humor, quick wit and love for life engaged you for an hour yet it only felt like a moment. He enjoyed televised sports like the Detroit Tigers baseball, Green Bay P)ackers football and Pro basketball. In the evening he would turn on a game, kick up the leg rest, settle in with a bowl of ice cream or chocolates or some of his wife’s lovingly crafted dessert and he was content for hours. Wayne never owned anything he didn’t share until the rabbits raided our garden, squirrels stole the bird seed and the deer feasted on his flowers. THEN it was all out war! On top of the hours spent gardening and landscaping were hours spent chasing and catching critters and outsmarting their every move. No matter how they tried to break his spirit, he marched right back outside planting, feeding and weeding. Many others would have easily given up. Although his work here on earth is now finished, he is survived by many to carry on his works, his memories, his love for life and people.
Survivors include his wife and soulmate, Laura Gardner-Bernard. Children: Sheila (Eric) LaRoue, Wanda (Donald) Lemaster, Joan Bernard, Jennifer (Kenneth) Johnson, Carl Bernard, Raymond J Gardner, Michael (Jennifer) Gardner and Pam Gardner. Grandchildren: Kyle, Matthew, Mark, Nick, Anthony, Sam, Laruanna, ALex, Kennan, Erik, Amber, Eric, Michelle and Kimberly. Great Grandchildren: Lauren, Sophia, Caroline, Sierra, Amanda, Heather, Mason and Carson. Sisters-in-law: Helen (Robert) Vidmar, Cathy LaFleur and Shan Bergwon, Brother-in-Law: Richard McKnight.
Preceding him in death were his parents: Edgar and Vera (Clifton) Bernard, Siblings: Ernest (Mina) Bernard, Auvern (Frances) Bernard, Alpha (Veronica) Bernard, Kenneth Bernard and June (Walter) Heimbach Brothers-in-law: Daniel (Joyce) Bergeon, Gerald (Betty) Bergeon, Robert Bergeon, John (Ann) Bergeon and Edward (Joyce) Bergwon and sisters-in-law: Loraine St John, Marilyn McKnight and Mary LaFave.
Wayne will be cremated by Baldwin Brothers in Titusville FL with services being held in June 2021 at All Saints Church in Gladstone, Michigan. Burial will be at the Garden Cemetery.
The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude for the amazing care and love provided by Debbie Lewis, RN Hospice Home Health and the staff and St Francis Reflections Lifestage Care in Titusville, FL Debbie, Kelly, Pam, Valerie, Val, Jessie, Nicole, Dr. Zeini and all the assistants and employees behind the scenes. You sincerely ROCK caregiving and our family is eternally grateful for each of you and your talents. Thank you all.