Bernadine Elizabeth Herne


Akwesasne: Bernadine Elizabeth Herne made her journey into the spirit world on Thursday, April 4, 2024, with her friends and family lovingly by her side.

Bernie was born on August 5, 1967, to Robert and Delores Herne, from Akwesasne, NY. She was a graduate of Salmon River Central School in 1985 and Mater Dei College with a degree in Early Childhood Development.

She worked at the Mohawk Bingo Palace, the Early Childhood Development Center, and the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort. Bernie persevered through many adversities in life as a selfless person, living life to the fullest while making lifelong friends along the way. Bernie was raised in a large family with nine (9) siblings, and lots of cousins, nieces, nephews, and family friends. Bernie was devoted to her family, especially her "babies" (her great nieces and nephews) above all else. She was the matriarch and "glue" to her family. Her favorite time was hosting family gatherings, with food, games, and laughter meant to create lasting memories for the little ones.

Bernie emulated love and acceptance. To have known Bernie is to know love.

A communicant of the St. Regis Mohawk Catholic Church, Bernie was grounded in faith and lived with passion and pride. Her faith pushed her through the darkest of times and provided a firm foundation to which she took pride in. In the book of John, it reads, "Little children, let us not love in word or talk but indeed and in truth."

Bernie understood that to love, was to do so through her actions as well through her words.

Bernie was genuine about her love, often saying, "I love you" or "Kanaronkwa" before you left her presence.

She loved unconditionally. She routinely put others first and sacrificed without complaint. In her final weeks of life, she called friends, family, and friends of her loved ones to say her goodbye, and to ensure her siblings were taken care of. Her open heart and gentle smile invited you in. She was the epitome of her mother in this way.

She made any room brighter, livelier, joyous, and magical and she had a way of giving new perspective. She has undoubtedly left a Bernie-shaped hole in the hearts of those who knew her.

Additionally, Bernie had many interests and hobbies. She was a die-hard woman's soccer fan; Bernie would set

alarms to watch the US National Team play regardless of the time. Her other love was for her fur babies. She often fostered kittens and dreamt of a safe space for orphaned and abandoned animals. Bernie was also extremely creative, making donated hats and mittens for community members, floral bouquets for weddings and canvas paintings to share with family.

Her departure is a tremendous loss and leaves a deep wound for our family and friends. In lieu of memorial

contributions, we ask that you consider donating to the Akwesasne Animal Society.

Additionally, our family would like to encourage you to honor Bernie, by loving like she did. Take love into action. Be intentional in how you interact with friends, family, and strangers. Harness the power of kindness – remember, you never know what someone may be going through. Also slow down and be present. Prioritize your time and presence with the people you love. By taking love into action, you will help ensure Bernie's legacy of love, lives on Bernie's family is deeply grateful to Bernie's home health aides and caregivers Wanda Jacobs, Crystal Young, and Diane Rogers, the medical team at the University of Vermont Medical Center and to the Hospice of the North Country.

Bernie was predeceased by her father and mother, Joseph Robert and Delores Herne, her eldest sister, Bennett Grant, her chosen sister Kerry Jacobs, her nephews, Colby and Keldon Herne, and her great-niece Kaitlin.

Bernie is survived by her caregiver and youngest brother, Benjamin Herne, her sister Brenda Johnston, her

brother and sisters-in-law, Bobbie and Alda Herne, Brian and Patti Herne, Barry and Darlene Herne, Belson and Theresia Herne, her sister and brothers-in-law: Belinda and Pooch White, Briana and Phil White, and her chosen sister and brother-in-law, Erin and Scott McDonald. She is also survived by many chosen family members, godchildren, and lots of her 'babies," nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Friends and family called Sunday, April 7, 2024 from 12:00 – 10:00 pm, Monday, 10:00 am

– 10:00 pm and Tuesday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at Akwesasne Homemakers in Snye. A Funeral Mass will be held

on Tuesday, 4:00 pm at St. Regis Catholic Church. Burial will take place in Kateri Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the care of the Donaldson Funeral Home in Massena where memories and condolences may be shared online with the family at


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