Colleen M. (McCabe) Bernardo passed away at home peacefully at age 63, on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, surrounded by her loving family. She is survived by her husband, Alfred J. Bernardo of Warwick.
Colleen was born in Providence, R.I. on August 7, 1954, to the late Phillip J. and the late Margaret M. (Sullivan) McCabe. She was the eldest of five children. Col married Fred in 1981. They were best friends, romantically in love, and together raised Ashely and Andrew, spending quality time skiing, beaching, golfing, and entertaining many. They passed down the love for music and dance to their children and extended family and friends. Colleen graduated from Pilgrim High School in 1972 and continued on to the University of Rhode Island, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics. Out of college she worked as a Home Economics teacher at Warwick Vets High School, then went on to work at Amica Insurance for 36 years, where she ultimately retired as a Senior Sales and Client Supervisor in 2013.
Colleen had an outgoing personality and a smile that would light up a room. She connected with others easily and loved being with her friends, especially when they were playing cribbage and Hi-Lo-Jack! She enjoyed music, dancing, reading, and most of all her incredible gift of sewing. Colleen’s big heart also had plenty of room for the love of her dogs, Rascal, Harry and Rudy.
Career aside, Colleen loved being with her family. She was the heart of the clan, putting her husband’s and children’s wellbeing ahead of her own. She was a loving and thoughtful wife and mother, caring for her family and raising her children to be honest, trustworthy and respectful. She always looked out for her brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and her Auntie Pat. She never forgot anyone’s special occasion with the best card she would search high and low for. She was happiest when family, friends and neighbors were gathered together at dinner, holidays and special occasions. She enjoyed traveling with Fred and her favorite places included Block Island, New Hampshire and a special trip to Ireland with family and friends. Her happy place was at the family beach house in Matunuck, where she was an active member in planning social events for the community.
Col’s family would like to extend their gratitude and heartfelt thanks to the doctors, nurses, and staff at Women & Infants Hospital and VNA of Care New England Hospice for the loving and compassionate care they provided her. Her endearing Irish smile will forever be with them. Colleen would leave us with this, "As you remember me, shine on, shine on silently."
She is survived by her daughter Ashley J. Tibbetts and her husband Andy J. of Warwick; her son, Andrew J. Bernardo of Florida. She was the sister of Philip J. McCabe, Jr. of Newport; Kevin C. McCabe of Warwick; Ann P. Brady of Orlando, FL; and Sheila J. Chase, and her husband, Kevin J., of Warwick. She was the auntie to Tara E. Brady, Shane C. Brady, Shailin M. Chase, and Sydney M. Chase. Colleen was predeceased by her husband’s parents, Alfred J. and Emeline M. (Phillips) Bernardo and her brother-in-law, Christopher D. Brady.
Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, April 10 at 8:45 a.m., from the Russell J. Boyle & Son Funeral Home, 142 Centerville Road (Route 117) Warwick. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., in Saint Timothy Church, 1799 Warwick Avenue, Warwick. Interment will follow in Pawtuxet Village Cemetery, Warwick. Visiting hours will be on Monday, April 9 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Damhsa Irish Dance Foundation, 400 Warwick Avenue, Warwick, RI 02888.