BERNARD JAMES MACPHEE
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BERNARD JAMES MACPHEE
With heavy hearts, we announce that Bernard passed away on August 18th, 2019 in the Health Sciences Centre at the age of 67.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years Audrey; his daughters Bree and Marlee (son-in-law Cameron); his grandchildren Abegael, Grayson and Logan; his siblings Carol, Denis and Ron; as well as his extended family and friends.
Bernard met the love of his life in 1968 at the young age of 17. They married on October 10th, 1970. Bernard & Audrey were challenged early in their relationship by the passing of their first child Jeremy Todd at the age of 4 days. They survived this unbearable tragedy through the strength of their love.
Bernard was a kind, open-hearted, and generous man, who believed it was important to be there for others. He went out of his way to help his family and friends. He welcomed his sister-in-law Judy into their home while she was completing high school. Then, with the passing of his mother-in-law Bernice, in 1974, he wanted to take in Audrey's two youngest brothers Ray (age 14) and Ken (age 11). They were granted guardianship in 1975. For Bernard, the boys became more than brothers-in-law, he considered them as sons. During this time, Bernard and Audrey were blessed by the birth of their first daughter Bree Charity on October 28th, 1972 and four years later, on October 2nd, 1976, with their second daughter Marlee Bernice Louise. They were now a family of 6.
Bernard was a very involved and caring father. He was there for his family every day and in every way. Whether it was making meals, helping with homework or acting as chauffer, he could be depended on. Much of his time was dedicated to entertaining his children and their friends. He was always in search of new parks to explore. He made sure birthdays were unique and memorable. Summers were spent camping and swimming, winters brought life size snow forts, giant snowmen, and tree chopping adventures. He is remembered fondly amongst his children’s friends as being the "fun" parent.
Along with the passing of his newborn son, some of the greatest sorrows in Bernard’s life were the loss of his parents at a much too early age. His father Findley Joseph on August 31st, 1973 at the age of 53 and his mother Louise Mary on November 23rd, 1987 at the age of 59. However, counted amongst the greatest joys of his life were the births of his three grandchildren; Abegael Jolee on September 20th, 2004 and Grayson James & Logan Cameron February on 6th, 2007. Bernard was a hands-on grandfather who liked nothing more than taking care of his grandchildren. Whether it was wagon rides or bus rides, library visits or fringe festival adventures, sleepovers or him spoiling them with treats, they always looked forward to their time with grandpa. He took pride in all their achievements and found joy in every small detail. He loved them dearly.
Bernard was a very bright young boy who had a hard childhood. He left home and school at the age of 14. However, he loved to learn, he read extensively and had amazing math skills (which will be missed by those who were not similarly gifted). He elected to complete his education on his own and, although he was an artist at heart, he chose to enter the heating and air conditioning trade in order to provide a stable life for his family. It did not sit well with him when, later in life, his illness took away his ability to contribute to his family’s well being.
Bernard had a great (if somewhat sardonic) sense of humour and was a bit of a practical joker. He managed to catch his friends and family on more than one occasion. He loved the spectacle and decoration of the holidays. His favourites being Halloween and Christmas. He was also an avid reader who passed on his love of books to his children, starting at a young age with bedtime stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Even after he lost his sight he was always in search of a new and interesting audiobook to devour.
Weekends in the MacPhee household were filled with music, song, and dance. Bernard loved music, of all genres, and would often be seen singing along with his favourite LPs and snagging Audrey or his daughters to dance. He went to clubs and concerts to seek out live music and more than once introduced the younger generation to the newest hot sounds.
Bernard was also a spiritual man who believed in a life after this one. In his heart he took comfort in the knowledge that he was going to reunite with lost loved ones. It is our hope that he has found peace and that we will all be together again one day. In the years that follow, his family is grateful to have so many wonderful memories to look back upon.
Bernard, we love you with all of our hearts and you will be missed.
A celebration of his life will be held from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sunday September 8th, 2019 at Columbus House at 404 Desalaberry Ave.
In Accordance with their wishes, donations can be made to Diabetes Canada in lieu of flowers.