In Memoriam

By on May 1, 2024

Heather Bernhardt (1961-2024)

From the Archives: Heather (left) receives communion from the Rev’d Jane Morton at Deacon Jane’s ordination in June 2019.

Suddenly, on March 21, 2024, Heather Olive Bernhardt moved into God’s nearer presence.

Heather was born on March 6, 1961, in Melita, MB, to Alvin and Mae Nield. She was the youngest of five children. She moved to Winnipeg as a young child and then eventually to an acreage near Deacon’s Corner, MB. Heather was active in many things including drama and art, but her real love was music. She sang with the Winnipeg Girls Choir and was asked to solo at her high school graduation. At the age of seventeen, Heather decided to do something new and different. She joined the Canadian Forces reserve as a member of the 17th Service Battalion’s Military Police platoon. It was there that she met her future husband, Don Bernhardt.

After two years, Heather left the reserves and enrolled at the University of Manitoba but decided that a career in nursing was what her true vocation was. She enrolled in the Red River College’s Registered Nursing program, graduating in 1982. By then she had married Don and the couple settled in Brandon, MB. Heather quickly found employment in nursing, working first at a private nursing home and later as one of the first cadre of nurses at the newly opened Dinsdale Home. After some ten years of nursing, she was forced to leave a job she loved due to injury.

In 1994, Heather became what she was truly called to be, a mother, when they received their son, Joshua. Four years later, daughter Jennifer entered their lives. In 2006, the family moved to Virden, MB when Don took a position as the rector of St. Mary’s Anglican Church. Heather joined in many activities at the church and always made sure that everyone felt welcome. She was a woman of a deep yet quiet faith and was always ready to reach out and serve where and how she could. She tried her hand at banking, but nursing pulled her back in. She worked at one of the local nursing homes for a brief time, but eventually became a public health nurse at Birdtail and Sioux Valley Dakota Nations.

After leaving that profession, Heather focused on another love, cooking and baking, with a dream of one day having her own restaurant. While that never came to pass, Heather was able to feed many family and friends, and feed them well. After returning to Brandon in 2016, her health began to suffer, and mobility became an issue. Nevertheless, she was fiercely protective of her family and we never for a second doubted her love and determination. She was an amazing wife, mother, sister and friend and we will hold her close in our memories and hearts until that day when we can see her again.

Heather was predeceased by her mother and father. She is survived by her husband, Don, her children Joshua and Jennifer and her siblings Tom, Laura, Ross and Melody, along with many nieces, nephews, and a grandnephew.

A memorial service was held at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, 403 13th Street, Brandon, MB on Thursday, April 4, 2024.

Nancy Crawford (1936-2024)

The Reverend Tom Crawford and Nancy Crawford on their wedding day.

Nancy was born in Toronto to her parents Marjorie Robinson Publow Seed and William Arnold Seed. She attended Oriole Park School in Toronto, Point Grey Middle School, and Prince of Wales High School in Vancouver. She earned a degree in Education at the University of British Columbia in 1958. While at UBC she was President of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority and a member of St. John’s Shaughnessy Anglican Church. After graduation, Nancy moved back to Toronto to teach kindergarten at Brown School.

Nancy met her husband Tom shortly after he emigrated to Canada from Northern Ireland in 1959. Nancy and Tom were married on July 8, 1964, in Toronto and settled together in St. Catharines where Tom was the rector of St. Columba Anglican Church. Tom’s career would take them to many wonderful parishes and communities over the years. Nancy and Tom moved to St. James, Port Colborne in 1969 with a 4 year old, 2 year old and 3 week old in tow. Busy days! The next move came in 1973 to St. Christopher’s, Burlington, which became the family home for 11 years. In 1984 they moved to St. James, Dundas followed by a move to St. Matthew’s Anglican Cathedral in Brandon, Manitoba in 1987. The last church move was to All Saints, Collingwood in 1992, where Nancy and Tom ultimately decided to retire in 1996.

Nancy is survived by her sister Sandra (Don), her children Kathleen (John), Patrick and Kevin (Keri), her grandchildren Anthony, Kyle (Janessa), Jack, Devin, Austin and Maya and her great-granddaughter Esmeralda. Nancy was proceeded in death by her loving husband Tom (2020) and her newborn daughter Angela.

+ + + Rest eternal grant unto Heather and Nancy, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.
May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. + + +

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