Bertha passed away peacefully in Santee California on Thursday, August 17th at the age of 90. A loving wife and mother of four, Bertha is survived by her sister Estelle Cayer, daughter Pamela Verkest, son Kenneth Dolan, daughter Patti Rebello and son-in-law Michael Rebello. John, her husband, passed away in 2007 and one of her daughters, JoAnn Little, passed away in 2020.
Bertha was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1932. She was one of four daughters born to her parents Adelard and Annette Bilodeau. She took pride in her father who was the first motorcycle policeman in Pawtucket Rhode Island. She loved her life as a girl scout. She also enjoyed roller skating, ice skating and was an avid sports fan. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh. She had aspirations of becoming a nun or a nurse. As a teenager, she was a volunteer ‘candy striper’, caring for newborns at a hospital in Providence. She was a student at St. John’s Academy, a french-speaking catholic school for girls. At age 16 she met her future husband, John. They were later married at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Pawtucket. Three of their four children were born at the same hospital where she earlier was a volunteer. In 1956, with three children in tow and one on the way, they traveled west to San Diego to begin a new life. After their children became adults, Bertha and John returned to the east coast to care for her parents in their time of need until they both passed. In 1994 they moved back to southern California and retired in Escondido.
Faith and family were the most cherished things in Bertha’s life. She was a daughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother. She was a devout Catholic who’s journey through life never wavered from the path set forth for her by God. She was involved with the church in many ways. She made profession in the Third Order of Mary under the name Sister Mary Jude as well as teaching Catechism at Our Mother of Confidence Catholic Church in San Diego.
Those of us who knew her always found her to be loving, caring and kind. She was a good person who lived a good life. Her faith in Jesus Christ led her life’s journey. We will miss her but take solace in that she is now in the presence of the Lord.
Almighty God, we rejoice in your promise of love, joy and peace. In your mercy turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life, and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven; through our Savior Jesus Christ, who died, rose again and lives evermore. Amen.