NORTH STONINGTON – Rene J. Bernier of North Stonington died peacefully at home on October 9, 2012, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born in Norwich on December 26, 1917 to Philias and Marion (Gervais) Bernier.
On June 26, 1954, he married his beloved Josephine Mikolajcik. She predeceased him, as did his sisters Philia Zubrowski and Theresa Morin.
Survivors include his daughters, Patricia Legare and Alice Bowmaster; sisters, Ada Iwanicki and Rita Keith; three grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
In his youth, he enjoyed motorcycling and flying his own plane. He served in the CCC's, worked around the world as a heavy equipment operator, was employed as a driver for Ramus Trucking, as an outside mechanic at Electric Boat, and, prior to retirement, was the permittee at Charlie's Package Store. For many years he found great pleasure in farming. He could fix anything, and was a master at solving puzzles and playing checkers.
He was especially proud of his service with the U.S. Army during World War II. Honorably discharged with the rank of Technical Sergeant on December 4, 1945, his awards included a Good Conduct Medal, EAME Theater Ribbon, two Bronze Service Stars, the World War II Victory Ribbon, and the American Theater Ribbon.
A military graveside service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October, 19, 2012, at St. Joseph Cemetery in Norwich.
His gentle patience, steadfast goodness, and unflagging optimism touched everyone who knew him.
We will keep him forever in our hearts.