Mr. Michele “Mike” Bernardo, age 86 years, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 10, 2018 surrounded by his family and friends in Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
Mike was born on July 4, 1931 in Grimaldi, Cosenza, Italy. He was the fifth of nine children born to Casper and Cecilia Bernardo Ciddio.
As a young man in Italy, he worked on the family farm until he was drafted into the military. Upon his return from service, he married his childhood sweetheart Filomena (Mena) Caputo on December 4, 1954.Two years later on March 6, 1956 they immigrated to Canada. Boarding the “Saturnia” departing from Naples for an eleven day journey across the ocean to Canada, landing at Pier 21 in Halifax. Following a three-day train ride on the Canadian National Railway they arrived in Port Arthur on March 20, 1956 in the middle of winter. Michele quickly found employment with CN Railway for a few months before working in construction as a plumber, and then with Anderson Block and Tile. He worked at Saskatchewan Wheat Pool 6 until his retirement in 1985.
After his retirement his days were spent in the garden with Mena where together they produced the tastiest tomatoes; he also made the best wine. Mike and his buddies would also make many trips to Silver Falls to walk the bush in their hunt for the best mushrooms.
Mike and Mena loved to travel, returning to Italy many times, venturing throughout Canada and they made many lifetime friendships on their frequent vacations in Mexico.
Mike was a long-time member of the Italian Society of Port Arthur, receiving his 50 year membership award in 2016.
More recently, Mike purchased a scooter to maintain his mobility. Many would see him driving around town to the coffee shops, picking up groceries and managing to have his picture in the newspaper for Canada Day on his decorated scooter.
Mike will be sadly missed by his loving wife of 62 years, Filomena; sisters Ida (Nello) Marsico, Elvira (Carmen) Caruso, of Vancouver BC, Rosina Pucci of Italy and brother in-law Guerino Vechio of Italy.
Predeceased by his parents, Casper and Cecilia; sisters Teresina (Francesco) Pugliano, Maria Vechio, Carmela (Francisco) Constantino and brother Giovanni (Teresa) Ciddio.
Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2018 with family and friends gathering in St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church for the Funeral Mass at 10:00am celebrated by Fr. Antoni Fujarczuk. Entombment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held on Wednesday evening from 6:00pm until 8:00pm in the EVEREST FUNERAL CHAPEL, 299 Waverley Street at Algoma with the Vigil Prayers offered at 7:00pm.
If friends so desire, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.