Bernadette P. Hessling
Our beloved Bern, age 71 (previously classified information), died suddenly and peacefully in her sleep Thursday morning, January 9, sometime between 9 and 11:30 am. Her 6-year battle with cancer peacefully and painlessly came to an end. Her bright light, unending love passed on to new life, and genuine concern for others will never come to an end. She changed Jim’s life forever the day they met on July 2, 1969, at a picnic in Godfrey, Illinois. It was truly love at first sight for both, and as Bernie would say, “it has been a picnic ever since.” Jim and Bernie married on December 8, 1973, the evening of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Somewhat ironically, their love quickly grew and expanded eventually to give new life to 5 children. It was truly her dream come true to become a mother, a role she tackled with marvelous gusto and care. There are now 5 grandchildren (3 within the past 10 months alone), and you can only imagine her joy at every contact, picture or word from each of the grandchildren.
We cannot help to remember her genuine care and concern for the elderly and the sick. Nurtured by her early training in life, she constantly maintained this care, concern and love with the elderly, the sick and all of you who became her dear friend. I (Jim, her husband, best friend and lover for over 40 years), now truly believe her heart simply gave out after so many years of unending love, care and concern. She believed strongly in angels, guardian angels being her favorite. Now as she has become an everlasting angel rejoicing with all the heavenly choirs and saints, she leaves behind a legacy of love. She always was a living sign of the presence of Jesus, and his mother Mary, to all of us.
Mother and Grandmother to John (wife Jodie and Bryce), Patrick (wife Mindi and Tyler, Allison), Melodie (husband Chris and Ethan), Megan (grandson Jaylen), and Daniel.
We thank numerous members of the Schuster clan (still and formerly of St. Francis), friends from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Old St. Mary’s, and St. Alphonsus, as well as friends and co-workers from IBM, where she served as Executive Secretary through Manpower for 17 years. A special thanks is in order to Dr. Francis Cuevas, nurses and medical staff at Wheaton Franciscan Oncology Center for their ongoing care.
After her cremation early this week, the following celebration of Bernie’s life and love will take place on Saturday, January 18th at St. Alphonsus Church, 5960 W Loomis Rd, Greendale: 10 am Visitation followed by Memorial Mass at 11 am.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Bernie’s name directly to St. Alphonsus Church.