Mary Louise


VIRGINIA, IL - Mary Louise "Mary Lou" Bernardini, 83, died Friday, May 2, 2014, at her home in Virginia surrounded by her family.

She was born Feb. 10, 1931, in Spring Valley, the daughter of Ignatius and Cecelia Marenda. She married Joseph P. Bernardini on Nov. 26, 1953, at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Spring Valley and he survives.

She is also survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including: son, Joe Bernardini (wife, Kathy) of Parker, Colo., and their children, Sara, Marc and Megan Bernardini; daughter, Jane Charbonneau (deceased husband, Dale) of Peru, Ill., and their children, Stephanie, Timothy, Shannon and Aubree Charbonneau; son, Jim Bernardini (wife, Gayla) of Chesterfield, Mo., and their children, Matt, Tomas and Joseph Bernardini; and daughter, Julie Rourke (husband, Dan) of Chatham, and their children, Amy, Chris, Jake Rourke, and Allison Henriksen (husband, Eddy) and their grandchildren, Riley and Kendall Henriksen. She is survived by a sister, Bea Verucchi of Spring Valley and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Raymond and Leonard Marenda; and a sister, Lorraine Marinangeli.

Mary Lou began her career as an assistant purchasing agent but retired in favor of the more important career as a stay-at-home mom. She was a member of St. Luke Parish in Virginia where she served many years as the church organist and assisted with children's programs. She was a graduate of the Parish Life Ministry of Springfield Diocese.

An accomplished organist and musician, Mary Lou contributed her talents for many events within every community she called home over the years. She also enjoyed cooking for her family, spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, shopping, and many FS trips with her husband.

She was a strong supporter of the Glenwood Football Team, especially during the 1998 State Championship when she was seen under the bleachers reciting the rosary. Mary Lou experienced special memorable events including her presence in an audience with the Pope and watching the racehorse "Bernardini" compete in the Breeder's Cup.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6 at St. Luke Catholic Church in Virginia with burial at Walnut Ridge Cemetery in Virginia. The family will meet friends from 4-7 p.m. on Monday at St. Luke Church.

Memorial gifts are suggested to: Cass County Food Pantry or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home in Virginia is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at

Funeral Home

Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home, Virginia Chapel
102 S. Cass St.  Virginia, IL 62691
(217) 452-3031