Our beloved “Patsy Nana”, age 97, died on January 6, 2023.
Bernice was born in Minnedosa and raised in the Cameron farm district. After high school Bernice taught Grades 1-8 in a one room school in rural Manitoba. Following that she took a year of Normal School training and then began her teaching career in The Pas. It was there that she met the love of her life, John Horsburgh.
John and Bernice married but after John’s untimely death in 1952 Bernice was left with a two month old baby daughter and a three year old son. To support her family she resumed her teaching career and admirably raised her children as a single parent.
As our mother Bernice provided us with a loving, supportive and educational environment. We are left with a profound appreciation for all that she did for us.
Bernice was also true to herself and her considerable abilities. The best two years of her life, she often said, were when she took a two year sabbatical and attended United College. She simply loved the intellectual stimulation and camaraderie of university life.
During a long and productive retirement Bernice was able to indulge her passion for travelling, create beautiful water colour paintings, read mystery novels, follow sports and do crossword puzzles.
The most enjoyable aspect of retirement, however, for Bernice was the opportunity to follow the paths of her two children and to spend quality time with her four grandchildren. She adored her family.
Left to mourn her passing and celebrate her life are her son Mac (Laura Roberts), grandsons Graham (Courtney Paquette) and Carson and daughter June (David Lawler), grandsons John and Andrew and sister Meryl Torregrosa and sister-in-law Jean Nowlan.
Bernice led a quiet and modest life that, in reality, was full of significant achievements. She has left us with an incredible legacy of unselfish love, caring, tolerance and self-determination.
Our beloved Patsy Nana will always be with us. In the words of TS Eliot:
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage we did not take;
Towards the door -
We never opened.
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