Obituary for Mary Bernardi (Toppazzini)
Mary Rose Regina Toppazzini Bernardi, born in Windsor Ontario to Marianna (Toniutti) and Pietro Toppazzini from San Daniele del Friuli, Italy. Mary came to Sudbury as a young child. Loving wife of Victor (Vic) Bernardi (predeceased in 1976). Mary was a proud Sudburian and equally proud of her Northern Italian heritage. She was sister to Bruno Toppazzini, Della Truant, Carmen Sgrazzutti, all predeceased, and Norma Scagnetti of Sudbury. She was sister in law to Emma Midena and George Pitman. Mary had many nieces and nephews, and godchildren. Mary worked for 35 years for the Federal government, Canada Employment and Immigration. A dedicated worker, she advanced from clerk to counselor, to supervisor, to senior manager. Mary was a trustee on the Board of Sudbury General Hospital for 12 years, and was a trustee on the Board of Science North for 5 years. Mary was also a trustee of her dear friend Jean MacLeod’s trust. In that capacity she insured that millions of dollars were given to the causes and projects that would have been near and dear to Jean such as the F. Jean MacLeod Butterfly Gallery at Science North, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), the Geography Department at Laurentian University, the Living with Lakes Blueberry Roof, and the new School of Architecture. Mary took great pride in serving her community and doing what she could to improve the lives of others. Mary’s favourite charities included the Elgin Street Mission, Mass for Shut-Ins and the Vale Hospice. Mary loved to design and decorate. At the age of 78, she was the general contractor for her new home which she completed in 2012 with the help of skilled tradespeople and suppliers. With the help of caring friends she recently put the finishing touches on a Japanese garden. Mary cherished her friends and regretted not being able to spend more time with them. Her advice to others: Go out more and never turn down an invitation. Mary was a loving person who demonstrated great grace and quiet strength. She touched the lives of many in her 78 years. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. In keeping with Mary’s wishes, there will be no public service or visitation. However, a celebration of Mary’s life will be held at a later time. In honour of Mary, scholarships have been established for women at the NOSM and the School of Architecture. In addition, Mary has established the Mary Toppazzini Bernardi Fund at Science North to allow cancer patients and their families to access the F. Jean Macleod Butterfly Gallery. Individuals can honor Mary’s memory by visiting the Butterfly Gallery, taking a few moments to sit and relax on oriental benches she has donated, enjoy the beautiful sights and pray for those battling cancer. To ensure these amazing gifts continue, others are asked to contribute to these funds. Mary would like to thank the professional caregivers, Jennifer, Maggie, and Kaitlyn for their extraordinary care, Molly for her gracious support and assistance, her nurse Terry for her caring efficiency, Dr. Cano, Dr. Sawkiw, Dr. Franklyn, Dr. Noble, Dr. Tenhunen, and Dr. Andrenowski. She also thanks her cherished friends, family and neighbors for their support, encouragement and prayers. As Mary’s little friend Sophia once said “Never Ever Give Up (NEGU!)”. Mary never did. I leave you with these thoughts, taken from a couple of my favourite songs, “Don’t let the good life pass you by”, and “When you get the choice to sit out or dance, I hope you dance.”
Arrangements entrusted to the Lougheed Funeral Home.