70, Coxheath

It is with broken hearts, that we, the family announce the passing of Bernie Melski on April 13, 2012. Bernie passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his devoted wife, children, and grandchildren and is now in the arms of the Lord.

Born in Whitney Pier, Bernie was a member of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Sydney River and in his younger years was a member of St. Mary’s Polish Parish, Whitney Pier where he served as an altar boy. He led a wonderful faith-filled life and was a Eucharistic Minister and a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He received his education at Saint FX University and spent most of his thirty year career teaching Mathematics at MacLennan Junior High. He was the founder and first coach of the Riverview Reds Hockey Team, along with his brother, Chester and friend, Rannie MacDonald.

A sentimental family man with a heart of gold, he loved the simple things in life – the purity of nature, hikes in the woods, golfing in the Cape Breton Highlands, fiddle music playing on the porch, and at the heart of it always, "Family." An enthusiastic lover of the cinema, much of his philosophical wisdom and dry humour was often inspired by one of his favorite movie quotes. He had a palpable zest for life before illness overtook him. When it progressed to where he was unable to live life to the fullest, he surrendered to God. We call to mind his most referred to movie quote, "Get busy living, or Get busy dying."

Bernie is survived by his soulmate and loving wife of 44 years, Mary; sons, Micheal Melski, Halifax and Christopher Melski (Karen), Singapore, and daughters, Anne Marie Kerr (Scott), Big Ridge and Sandra Long (Tony), Minnesota. Gentle and kind grandfather to Hannah Elizabeth and Anthony Joshua Long and Kaia Kathleen and Kinley Kathleen Melski. Much loved brother of Frances Turnbull, Dartmouth, Julie MacLean (John), Dartmouth, Tom Melski (Karen), British Columbia; cousin and best friend, Laddie Chalupa, Whitney Pier, and uncle to several nieces and nephews.

Bernie was predeceased by his mother, Ann; father, Andrew; brother, Chester, and brother-in-law, Roy Turnbull.

Visitation for the late Bernie Melski will be private for the family only. Funeral mass to celebrate Bernie’s life will be held Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Polish Church, Whitney Pier, with Fr. Paul Murphy officiating. Reception will be held in the Pier Community Funeral Home, Whitney Pier, 1092 Victoria Road (entrance on Church Street) with interment to follow in Resurrection Cemetery, Sydney Forks.

Donations in memory of Bernie may be made to the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton, VON or charity of your choice.

The Melski family gives special thanks to his long time physician, Dr. Murdock Smith, the Palliative Care Society, and the VON for their superb care and compassion given to Bernie during his time of need.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.

Send an online condolence.


                        Online Condolences

Truly sorry we can’t make it to Sydney to celebrate Bernie’s life. I’m performing in a play in Halifax, and as they say, the show must go on… Tonight’s performance is dedicated to Bernie, and he and the family are in our thoughts. Love, Jesse and Suzy MacLean
From:  Jesse MacLean

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Mary,and your family.We are so sorry for your loss. Bernie was a fine man and as I remember he was a great tarabish player! Sincerely
From:  Dan and Marnie Cash

So very sorry for your loss,my thoughts and prayers go out to your whole family at this very sad time.
from:  Glenda Yorke

We wish to send our deepest condolence to Sandra and her entire family at this most saddest of times. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!
From:  Danny & Leona Ryan (Florida)

Mary,I wish to of my sympathy & prayers to you & your family.It is not easy to lose your partner,father,but God does give us the strengh to go on.
From:  Marguerite MacNeil

Mr. Melski was a wonderful person and a dedicated teacher. I am so sorry to hear of his passing and my thoughts and prays are with the family for their loss.
From:  Todd Khattar