On Friday, May 3, 2019, Bernard (Bernie) Vernon White received his angel wings at the age of 95 as he left peacefully to be with the Lord and so very many loved ones.
Born in Binscarth on June 30th, 1923 Bernie was one of eight children blessed to George White and Agnes Ileot. It was not easy to support and raise a large family in those days but they somehow managed in a tiny home that was filled with the most mischievous children imaginable, humor and music.
Bernie left home at an early age to make his way in the world. He ended up in Ontario working for the Love family and also General Motors in Oshawa. Like many other Canadian boys, Bernie joined the army to fight oversees in the 2nd World War. And like many other Canadian boys he came home with the physical and mental scars that would stay with him the remainder of his life.
On June 14, 1947 he married Gladys Skeoch and together they had three children, Beverly, George and Maxine. Bernie did whatever he had to do to support his growing family - whether that was working for CP Rail, helping to build the first power lines in rural Manitoba, being a farm laborer, a heavy equipment operator, running the first cat trains into Thompson, MB, selling small farm equipment, farming on his own, working for the Fouillard brothers or for the local municipality.
Bernie was a recovering alcoholic with 52 years of sobriety. It may be hard for some to understand that this was a gift but it truly was. When Bernie turned his life around he turned around the lives of countless others who remain sober today because of him. Bernie was never ashamed to say "My name is Bernie and I'm an alcoholic" and he always made certain that others knew they shouldn't be ashamed either and they should hold their heads up high. Bernie faced unthinkable challenges to his sobriety including George's death in 1972 at the age of 21, Beverly's death in 2003 at the age of 55 and his beloved Gladys' death at the age of 82 in 2008. Through all of it Bernie drew his strength one day at a time from a higher power and the Serenity Prayer was on display in almost every room in the family home.
Bernie spent the last years of his life in the Boyne Lodge in Carman. He was treated with so much care and compassion and the family is immensely grateful for the kindness and respect he was shown by his caregivers. Bernie's gentle manner, his sense of humor and his use of please and thank you until the end of his life made him a favorite there.
Bernie is survived by his brother Leslie, his daughter Maxine, grandsons Andrew and Christopher, granddaughters Elizabeth and Nikki, 13 great grandchildren and a great great granddaughter as well as numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”
St. Matthew's Anglican Church
~, Binscarth MB R0J 0G0