With heavy hearts, we mourn the loss of Bernadette Rose Whitacre, a beloved sister, daughter, and friend, who peacefully passed away on January 30, 2024, in Chisago City, Minnesota at the age of 91. A compassionate and dedicated registered nurse, Bernadette devoted her life to caring for others and leaves behind a legacy of kindness, love, and unwavering support.
Born on February 29, 1932, in Ironwood, Michigan, Bernadette was the cherished daughter of Adam and Anna Gibowski. She pursued her passion for helping others by obtaining her nursing certificate from St. Mary's Nursing School in Duluth, Minnesota. Her career in healthcare spanned several decades, serving as a surgical nurse at Abbott Northwestern and later as an industrial nurse at Honeywell for over 30 years.
Even in retirement, Bernadette selflessly gave her time and expertise, volunteering at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota. Her dedication to her profession and her patients was unmatched, and she was respected and loved by all who knew her.
Beyond her remarkable nursing career, Bernadette will be remembered for her many passions and interests. She had a thirst for knowledge and a love for literature, spending countless hours reading and staying informed about current events, politics, and weather around the country. She also enjoyed daily walks, knitting, and crocheting beautiful baby blankets for her nieces, nephews, and their children.
A lifelong sports fan, Bernadette found joy in following the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. She relished in listening to their games and stayed connected with the world through WCCO radio. Additionally, she cherished the friendships she had formed during her time at Honeywell, frequently meeting with former co-workers for lunches and continued to maintain relationships with the dedicated volunteers from the hospital.
Bernadette's devotion to family was profound. She loved and cared for her sister, Marie Schneider, and regularly reached out to her nieces and nephews to stay connected. Her genuine interest in their lives, unwavering support, and impeccable memory made her a beloved confidante and trusted mentor.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Adam and Anna (Staszek) Gibowski; in-laws, James and Anna Armstrong; husbands, Kenneth Armstrong and Edmund “Bud” Whitacre; brothers and sisters in law, James and Erma and second wife Tula Armstrong, Marcie and Alde Whitman, Jerry and Charlene Armstrong, Ronald and Betty Armstrong, Tim and Judy Armstrong, JoAnn Armstrong, Roger Schneider; nephew, Dan Armstrong.
Bernadette's memory will forever be treasured by her sister, Marie Schneider; nieces, Laura Meyer (great nieces, Anna and Erin), Amy (Leroy) Leonard (great niece, Taylor and great nephew, Adam); nephew, Michael (Jennifer) Schneider (great nephews, Lincoln and Harrison); sister-in-law, Margaret (George) Ahlstrom; brother-in-law, Dick Armstrong; goddaughter, Hannah Verdon, and numerous extended family members, including many Armstrong nieces and nephews.
As we gather to bid a final farewell to Bernadette, we hold dear her spirit of compassion, her unwavering support, and her remarkable ability to connect deeply with people from all walks of life. Her legacy will continue to inspire us to be kind, attentive, and always willing to lend a helping hand.
A private interment will take place at Twitchell Cemetery in Lino Lakes, Minnesota, where Bernadette will rest alongside her loved ones. May her soul find eternal peace, and may her memory continue to bring comfort and joy to our hearts.