On Friday, Oct. 29th, 2010, Bernice joined her beloved husband in God’s Holy Presence.
Born Mary Bernice Quinlan on May 16th, 1928 in St. John, NB as the only child of John and Gertrude.
Bernice had a very exciting and full life before and after she married Ralph Porter.
As a very young girl she was sent to Convent boarding school where her deep faith flourished and sustained her through the rough years of youth during the Depression and World War 2.
In Bernice’s late teens she got her license as a teacher and spend a few years teaching in a one room school house in Rural New Brunswick, where she perfected what her adoring husband called “The Look”.
While Bernice did have “the look” down pat to express her displeasure, she was also known for her smiling Irish eyes and her beautiful laugh.
After her years as a teacher, Bernice moved to Montreal where she was trained by Bell as a Switchboard Operator (the big old ones with the cords) and with that training moved on to being an Assistant to her (soon to be) sister- in-law’s husband. One day in walked Corporal Ralph Porter in full uniform to pick up his brother-in-law to go to a baseball game. Ralph said it was love at first sight for him and the courtship was on. Bernice made Ralph work for it, but in the end she agreed to marry him and a marriage many pray for, was born. Through the good times and the bad, they were each other’s best friend. Together they lived the military way and moved where they were told to: Quebec, Newfoundland/Labrador, Quebec, British Columbia, Europe, Ontario, and finally Chilliwack in 1971.
Along the way, Bernice picked up her LPN, and many other letters for her alphabet soup (as she referred to them) which as part of God’s plan she used in so many ways of service in her Church and Parishes (Guider and Guide Leader/Captain/Commissioner and CWL member from the age of 16, parish councils, Marriage Encounter and many more organizations), her Community (worked from the early days of Chilliwack Community Service for more than 20 years, FSNA and many hours as a volunteer), and always with great Love and Loyalty to her family and friends.
Bernice knew how to give God’s Love and He used her as an instrument to give His counsel to family members, many friends and even strangers. To her husband, Ralph, and to her family and friends, Bernice was the definition of a Grand Classy Lady.
While there are many tears and much sadness for our Loss, there is also much Joy that Bernice and Ralph are reunited in Heaven.
Bernice is survived by her children, Kevin, Paul (Ruth), Maureen (Brad), her granddaughters (Paul), Jennifer and Heather, her step-grandchildren (Maureen), Jesse, Megan and Ryan.
Bernice is also survived by her Aunt Rita, Uncle Robert, and many cousins in New Brunswick, as well as her sister-in-law Norma, and many nieces and nephews in Alberta and Quebec. Bernice will be missed by all those that were blessed to have had their lives touched by her graceful ways, tough love and wise counsel, and by her great Faith in God our Father.