Bernadine (McCloskey) George's life on Earth ended peacefully Saturday, March 29, 2014, at Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidays-burg, at the age of 89.
She was born in Pittsburgh in October 1924. Losing her mother at the age of 3, she and her two brothers were placed in a Catholic orphanage until her granduncle and grandaunt lovingly adopted and raised them. She and her older brother, Ed, had a lifelong unbreakable bond.
Surviving are seven children: Neal P. (Cheryl) of Shamong, N.J., Cheryl Kutlenios of Chandler, Ariz., Kathleen Chovit (Brad) of State College, Mary Beth Rossi (Ralph) of Oakmont, Daniel (Liz) of Tallahassee, Fla., and Karen Mentzer and Diane Bonkavich (William), both of Las Vegas, Nev.; 17 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Ruth McCloskey of New Port Ritchey, Fla.
Her sons, Kevin P. and Michael E., passed over before her, as did her brothers, Edward J. and William McCloskey.
Bernie graduated from Holy Rosary High School in 1942. Her first job as a secretary was for the Selective Service System and the Department of the Navy. She married Neal L. George in 1948, remaining by his side for 55 years and raising their nine children together. He preceded her in death in 2003.
Her proudest achievement was raising her nine children while working full time. She retired as a secretary from the U.S. Bureau of Mines after 30 years of service and moved to Las Vegas, Nev. She didn't feel useful unless she was working and hence returned to work for another 17 years.
Bernie kept an immaculate, well-organized house. After work, she would make dinner out of seemingly thin air, help her children with their homework, starch and iron their school uniforms, and then bathe and scrub them until they were pink prior to putting them to bed. To her, it was all in a day's work.
She was a devout Catholic who was known to drive her children through blizzards to get to Sunday Mass. She lived by the Golden Rule, knew how to stretch a dollar and was known for miraculously creating nutritious meals from very little. She was famous for her biscuits and pies.
Bernie's quiet and gentle manner touched those who knew her. She faced life's many challenges with grace. Her advice was always simple: Be good and live by your religion, put others first, take care of your parents, let your spouse have his or her way once in a while, work hard and save for a rainy day, and be a good citizen and vote. She was a gentle soul who will be sorely missed.
At her request, her family will hold a private celebration of her life at a later date. Committal will be at Twin Valley Memorial Park, Delmont.
Those who wish to honor her memory may make a contribution to Garvey Manor Nursing Home, 1037 S. Logan Blvd., Hollidaysburg, PA 16648.