April 23, 1932 - March 28, 2023
In loving memory ~
Berna passed in the early evening of March 28, 2023. Peacefully at home, her choice. Berna wants everyone to know she dearly loved her many friends from different circles. Berna passed into the loving care of her God, grateful for the life she was able to enjoy. Berna was going to be 91 on April 23rd.
Born near Steelman in 1932, carried across the Qu'Appelle Valley by her mother because she cried in the wagon. Berna grew up in Kelvington, Saskatchewan, cherished daughter of Frank and Christiana Ingram, younger sister of Bruce, cousin of Lewis Ingram. Could remember war years, Berna said her family always had enough to eat and a roof over their heads. In 1951 the Frank Ingrams moved to Victoria, B.C., partly so Berna could enter Nurse training at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. Christiana delivered babies on the Prairie and learned from her mother, Isabelle Middleton. Berna graduated in 1953 and started nursing.
Berna met her husband, Bob Dennison, while he was stationed at Merritt and she was at Princeton Hospital. Nurses and policemen, some salt and pepper. Married in 1956 and raised their family in Victoria, Courtenay, Ottawa Valley, Nanaimo, Tahsis, Port Coquitlam, New Hazelton and back to Nanaimo. Our home could be anywhere as long as we were together.
Berna always sought good work. 50's, nursed at Royal Jubilee and interior hospitals. 60's, nursed at an Ottawa hospital. Berna worked in the Coop store at Tahsis. Nursed at Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster, 70's. Became a dental assistant in Hazelton. Moved back to Nanaimo, filled a position at the NRGH. Her life enriched by her coworkers and patients at the long-term care ward. Saw the new Dufferin Place come into existence. Before retiring, earned BSN from UVic. Always had as much fun as she could. Made lifelong friends, her work friends are her sisters. Berna was grateful, she felt blessed to work with just about everyone.
Berna was predeceased by her husband Bob in 1994, her brother Bruce in 2010 and eldest son, Charlie, late in 2022. Berna leaves behind a granddaughter Christiana (Burnaby); her daughter Sherri and Mike Jensen (Lantzville), grandchildren Keya (Kispiox) and Jim (Nanaimo), great-granddaughter Gigi Bea (Kispiox); her son, Michael, wife Laura, grandchildren Sarah and Owen (Calgary); South Island relatives including and not limited to Vernice Ingram, David Ingram, Dee and Prem Chainani.
Once retired, between amazing travel adventures, Berna's generous soul looked to volunteer. Saved all her name tags and kept them ready on her dresser. Brechin United Church was central to her faith, serious about getting Sunday coffee on. Meals on Wheels, was an organizing Captain. Port Theatre, happily volunteered. Hospice Shoppe, made fabulous friends volunteering. Federal Retiree Organization, worked as a phone organizer. Only a month before passing, Berna said she would not be volunteering anymore. Surely, she might look around Heaven because in this world she found meaning in community service. She will be remembered.
Berna learned and liked golf. Berna loved the game of Bridge. Mourned when it was time to step back. Mom played it continually through her illness, in her mind there was often a game going and she looked to clarify. Berna loved that game above all other games and valued mostly everyone she met playing it. Bridge is where she met her dear companion, Don Jeglum who predeceased her in 2008.
Dennison family thanks Berna's community where she lived for 28 years. We saw our Mom content with her lifestyle, enjoying her associations and we know you folks had her back. Dennison family thanks Berna's caregivers, we were able to gather and love our Mom because you helped us. We thank all the dedicated palliative and health care workers and appreciate their kind, professional 24/7 support on our way to the end of Mom's life. Dennison family is grateful to everyone who supported us through this remarkable time. We say thank you to everyone.
Berna's funeral will be at Brechin United Church, Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., tea to follow. In lieu of flowers please donate to Canadian Cancer Society.