Bernadette A. Eichler

Obituary
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Bernadette A. Eichler
Utica
Miss Bernadette A. Eichler, 97, of Utica, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare in New Hartford. Bernadette was born in Utica on August 15, 1915, the daughter of John and Carolyn (Servatius) Eichler. She was raised in Utica, attended Kemble Street School and was a graduate of Utica Free Academy and Cortland State Teachers College with honors in teaching and scholastics. Bernadette later earned her Master's degree in education from Syracuse University. She began her teaching career as a teacher at a two room schoolhouse in Stanwix, a one room schoolhouse in the Lake Lucern area, a second grade teacher in Waterville and an elementary school teacher in Whitesboro. For 56 years, Bernadette served the Utica City School District as a teacher with the Kemble Street School District, Supervisor of Adult Basic Education, Administrative Assistant for Elementary Education, Director of Elementary Education, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education and Deputy Superintendent of Schools, retiring in 2003. She also served as an Adjunct Professor at Oswego, Cortland and Brockport State Universities. Bernadette was a current member of the Broadway Theatre League, current member and past president of the Utica Zonta Club and past board member of both the Utica Headstart program and Family Services of Greater Utica. She was past president of the Board of the Business Training Institute, Utica chapter of American Childhood Education, and Utica Chapter of the American Cancer Society. She also served a past vice-president of the Utica Federation of Teachers. Bernadette was a true philanthropist and the recipient of numerous recognitions and awards, including: recognition from the Retired Senior Volunteer Program for her invaluable support of their efforts, induction into the East Utica Optimist Club of Utica Hall of Fame, a Certificate of Merit from Oswego Teacher's College for establishing the first resident center in Utica, a Certificate of Appreciation from Family Services of Greater Utica, the Woman in Business Award, induction into the Educator's Hall of Distinction sponsored by the Genesis Group, Salvation Army's "People First Award", Alpha Delta Kappa Honors Award, Utica Teacher's Educator of the Year Award, Utica Board of Education's Excellence in Education Award, numerous awards from Utica Headstart, the ALL-star Staffer Award presented by the Utica Observer Dispatch, and was recently recognized by the Living Legends program for her many accomplishments. She was a parishioner of Historic Old St. John's Church in Utica. Miss Eichler is survived by her dear friend, Carol Fox; special friend and niece, Joan Richard; as well as 33 additional nieces and nephews, and many great-nieces and nephews and great-great-nieces and nephews, too numerous to mention. She was predeceased by six sisters, Mary Kelly, Margaret Nash, Carolyn Ashley, Elizabeth Ellis, Ann Gubbins and Teckla Eichler; five brothers, Howard Eichler, Hamilton Eichler, John Eichler, Paul Eichler and Gerald Eichler; and three close family friends, Mary Stolzel, Gertrude Stolzel and Lilyann Stolzel. Bernadette's funeral will be held on Monday, December 17, 2012, at 9:15 a.m., at the Heintz Funeral Home, 1517 Whitesboro St., Utica, and 10:00 at Historic Old St. John's Church, where her Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated. Rite of Committal and burial will be in St. Agnes Cemetery in Utica. Calling hours for family and friends are Sunday from 4:00-8:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Bernadette Eichler Scholarship Fund C/O the Utica City School District or the Historic Old St. John's Scholarship Fund in Bernadette's memory. A special thank you to Bernadette's secretary, Chris Polinski, and her two "casino musketeers," Carol Fox and Joan Richard, for the many years of friendship you shared with Bernadette. Special thanks to Dr. Sloan and his staff at Slocum Dickson Medical Group, the staff at the Masonic Care Community Rehab, Saratoga Wing, the nurses and staff at Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare, as well as the nurses and physical therapy staff at Acacia Home Care, for the wonderful care and compassion you provided to Bernadette. Online guestbook and messages of sympathy at: www.heintz funeralservice.net
Published in The Observer-Dispatch from Dec. 13 to Dec. 15, 2012
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