Date Of Birth: 05/24/1931
Date of Death: 07/28/2020
Bernadine Mae was born May 24, 1931 as a twin to Geraldine Rae. They were born to Ellen and Henry and joined their sisters Florence and Irene. Sister Florence told her mom she wanted to name a sister Bunny, so Bernadine was nicknamed Bunny, with Geraldine called Gerry. They were later joined by their brother Robert. The family grew up in Spokane in a sweet house on Marietta Street. The twins attended the local schools and graduated from West Valley High School. Bunny survived her siblings.
Bunny met Les at a bowling alley and they started their 68 year relationship. The stories they have told of courting on the lakes in the area, water skiing and boating. They were very close to their parents and siblings. They married in Spokane and had two sons, Robert and Mark.
Bunny and Les moved to Beaverton Oregon in 1959 and after welcoming their daughter Lisa they decided they had outgrown this house and moved to Aloha, which became their forever home. This home and its caring hostess Bunny became the place that created wonderful, happy, and precious memories. Family and friends gathered here for birthdays, holidays and sporting events and Bunny always made everyone feel comfortable. She was the master of excellent home cooked meals, salads, casseroles and snacks and truly enjoyed making others happy. Her home was always decorated for every holiday and birthdays were extra special, with that personal birthday cake she always made.
Bunny started working when Lisa went to first grade for Birds Eye Foods, as a broccoli chopper and when she came home, the whole house smelled horrible! Then she worked at Tektronix in “Farm Out” making circuit boards, with her best friend Rita, which was an early shift, part time 6 am to 11am, before going full time and moving to building 41. During her 15 years at Tek, Bunny made so many friends and met many women, who would come to be her long-time friends, Jean, Char, Karen and Jolly Janet, to name a few. She loved her job and was passionate about quality and was happy working. It was back in the day when work was also fun; they had birthday celebrations, costume contests and potlucks. She also was part of the Tektronix Rose competitions and brought home many first place ribbons for her gorgeous roses.
With two boys, there were always engines and cars, tools, and tractors in her very busy house. Bunny was also a Cub Scout Den mother for the boys. The boys had classic cars that she loved. She was very proud of her sons’ accomplishments in school and sports and was happy when they both graduated from high school. They continued to make her proud by going on to be successful at their careers and family lives. All the while she was raising a daughter with a love of Barbie dolls and bike riding. She taught and passed down her knowledge of baking and cooking, gardening, and a love for entertaining and family.
Most of the Wold family vacations were spent going to Spokane a few times a year to visit grandparents and their extended families. Her mom suffered a stroke, so we learned compassion, watching her care for her parents during this time. Lisa was dropped off at the Warga house, having a blast, all the while she took care of her parents, giving her sisters a break. She was very close to her sisters. Two of them still lived in Spokane and her other sister would come up from Moses Lake and they would get together often when Bunny was in town. Florence was 16 and Irene was 11 when the twins were born, so there was an age difference and they all had unique personalities. However, the four of them always enjoyed each other, supported each other, with lots of laughs and some tough conversations too. The kitchen and dining room at Irene’s house is where they shared their lives and had so many good times and great conversations. Without knowing it, they were role models for the family ties they shared.
Aside from being very close to her siblings and siblings in-laws, Aunt Bunny had many close bonds with her nieces and nephews, always remembering their birthdays and special moments in their lives. She cared deeply for her twin sister Gerry’s three boys and their families and saw them often during her visits to Spokane. And she looked forward to stopping at her brothers’ home in Kennewick and visiting his 4 sons and they also felt the love from their dad to his sister. She has enjoyed knowing they all have beautiful families now and has kept in touch with them over the years, as Gary and Tina live in their family home. Even though they did not live in the area, she was very close to Viki and Sandy, Irene’s daughters and saw them often in Spokane and kept in touch when they moved to California and Seattle. When visiting Washington DC in 1981, she made a special effort to see Irene’s son in New York City, to meet his partner and tour the city with them. Joy-Gay, Florence’s daughter, lived in Oregon, so they were always on the phone or visiting each other, keeping track of family events. Florence’s other daughter Susan lived in the mid west, but Florence and her daughters spent many years traveling with Bunny and Gerry. Their annual adventures became the norm for many years. They went from the Oregon Coast, Coeur d’Alene, Kansas City, Branson, Atlanta, Disneyland, and a Caribbean Cruise. Then for years, Bunny, Gerry and Joy-Gay would annually take Florence to Palm Springs, her winter home. And on the Wold side, Leslie (daughter of Jeanette and Tom) and her husband Dan lived in Oregon, raising their three kids for 6 years. During this time Aunt Bunny always kept track of how the kids were doing in school and sports. And each trip to Spokane was not complete without a visit to the Warga’s to check on Heidi, Becca, Thomas, and Tina, who gave her much joy, watching them grow into wonderful adults. The Bud Wold family kids and home was also a special visit, with the doll house to play in. Bunny kept track of the Everett cousins, June’s children, seeing them when she could. Don (son of Don and Sally Wold) and his wife Joanne, lived in Aloha spent many years enjoying family life, vacations, parties, and holidays together. They traveled from the Indy Car Races to the Mediterranean and back to Timberline Lodge. They also traveled together with their parents, Don and Sally, from canoeing in Sun River Oregon to exploring Europe and Scandinavia. The other Wold sisters Dianne and Suzanne lived in California and she was delighted when they came to visit. She always enjoyed the opportunity to travel and for the 2000 New Year celebration, she organized a vacation and took her family to Paradise Point Resort in California to welcome in the new millennium.
The neighbors also became her close friends, Rita, Mariena, Bert, Naomi, Mary, and Darlene all shared their early years having get togethers, while raising their families. Mariena was part of a card group and Bunny, Rita, Jean and Bert would substitute and eventually became part of the monthly Court Whist card game. For many years, these friendships endured with these monthly get togethers.
Like her mother, Lisa became the party planner for her mom and her Aunt Gerry. They wanted to do something special on their 60th birthday, so Lisa took them to Hawaii. And for the big 70th birthday, she rented a house in Lincoln City and Bunny’s sisters and best friends all came for the weekend. We went to a show at Spirit Mountain Casino, made ceramics in Newport and had great food and lots of laughs on a deck overlooking the ocean. Bunny and Gerry enjoyed being celebrated and always had a special place in their hearts for this daughter they shared. They organized photo shoots, surprising us all with their 70th and 80th photos. Their 80th birthday was celebrated with special lunches including family and friends. They enjoyed their birthdays together until the age of 86.
But one of her greatest joys was realized, being a grandma. She was overjoyed when Mark married Joyce and then shortly thereafter she fell in love with her first grandson, Perry. He brought great joy to their lives and her home was full of happiness and smiles again. Then came Adam a couple years later and these boys loved hanging with grandpa and grandma. Then 5 years later another blessing, Jackson, and birthdays, holidays and summer vacations were 3 times more fun. Bunny and Les purchased a motor home, even though camping was all new territory for them, but they wanted to join the family camping and follow those boys on vacation! The family enjoyed these trips very much, lots of exploring, fishing, campfires, games, and bike rides together. Bunny was so proud of her grandsons, now an architect, a firefighter, and a pharmacist! She deeply loved and cared for them and it showed when they walked into the room. Bunny was also blessed with her granddaughter, Savannah, Lisa and Jim’s daughter, who she spoiled with love and all of her attention. Savannah enjoyed spending time with her and absorbed this attention and became very close with her grandma. She helped her navigate Bi-Mart, Fred Meyer, Kohls and any where else they could find fun shopping. She remembers precious time baking, making fudge and cookies and helping Grandma with family dinners. She will remember her grandma as kind, caring and giving and always happy to see her with a big smile and a kiss. Over the years, the annual Easter Egg hunts, Fourth of July celebrations and finding the best Christmas tree, along with every birthday celebration, she was blessed with a perfect family in her eyes and her famous words were “super good time”.
Bunny is also survived by her oldest son Robert and his wife Susan. She was grateful they found each other and have been happily married for 23 years. Robert, Bob or Buddy he is called, always stopped on Sunday after church and spent time visiting his parents and she always looked forward to this visit, in fact the family would all hear if he did not show up! Son Mark and Joyce, married for 34 years, have always had a special place in her heart as well; thankful they lived close and visited often too. Jim, Lisa’s husband whom she survived, was welcomed into the family and over the years remodeled their home, including the new kitchen which Bunny enjoyed immensely.
Bunny lost her twin sister in June 2018 and the love of her life, Leslie, in November 2018. She kept his memory alive by talking about him and celebrating him on his birthday and Father’s Day. After these losses, the entire family came together to care for her in her home including Susan who took on the role of care giver in the months following her husband’s death. In 2020, Bunny spent 6 weeks at St. Mary’s rehabilitation from heart issues after a week in the hospital. She then returned to the comfort of her home for her final two months. She passed peacefully on July 28, 2020.
We all miss her phone calls, keeping us up on the latest news, which shows to watch on TV and the family happenings. We know she was proud and happy of this little family she created, so we cannot grieve, but cry tears of joy to have been part of her life and these wonderful memories.