Catholic 02


Mary S Bernier

November 24, 1944 ~ February 11, 2019 (age 74)

On Monday, February 11, Mary Shay Bernier passed away peacefully surrounded by family. Mary was born at the United States Naval Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia on November 24, 1944 to parents George D. Shay and Helen (Brennan) Shay. The family later moved to Manchester, Connecticut and then to West Hartford where she was raised alongside her sisters Anne (Shay) Rowe and Elizabeth (Shay) Pascucci and her brother Edward Shay. Mary wed Peter Belden Bernier on October 26th, 1968, and they had two children: Peter Belden Bernier II, and Jennifer Bernier-Santarini. Mary went to high school at the Mount St. Joseph Academy and then nursing school at Middlesex Memorial Hospital. She went on to work as a registered nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford for more than 30 years. She later worked as a visiting nurse, and then as a health and wellness trainer at Westside Care Center. Mary loved to help people, especially children, and spent time after her retirement teaching literacy through a local program. She also enjoyed photography and art and was a frequent visitor to the Wadsworth Athenaeum. Mary was a longtime Communicant of St. James Church in Manchester, Mary is survived by her son Peter, his wife Susan (Caringer) Bernier, their children Brigid, Conor and Owen; her daughter Jen and husband Michael Santarini and their children Alexander, Nathan and Sophia; her sister Anne and husband Don Rowe; her brother Edward, dearly loved brothers- and sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews, as well as many friends including her wonderful friend Joe Langer for whom we will always be thankful. She joins in heaven her beloved husband Peter, as well as her sister Elizabeth (Betsy), her mom Helen, her Aunt Bette, and her loving parents-in-law Al and Abby Bernier. Calling hours will be held at the Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home, 400 Main Street in Manchester from 6pm – 8pm on Friday, February 15th. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. James Church, 896 Main Street in Manchester at 10am on Saturday, February 16th.Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery in Manchester. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society. Special thanks to the staff at Manchester Manor Nursing Home who have a special place in our hearts. To leave an online condolence please visit

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