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Bernadette Barrish

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Bernadette Barrish Obituary
Bernadette Barrish

AGE: 81 • Middletown

Bernadette Barrish, known to all simply as "Bernie,' passed away peacefully Wednesday. She was 81.

Bernie was the only child of Bernard and Mary Helenski of Wilmington, who named their legendary "Bernie's Café' after their outgoing and wonderful daughter. " Bernie's" was the city's original and best "beer garden" and crab cake haven, with devout customers from the Wilmington working class as well as the city's top lawyers, journalists and tycoons.

Bernie chose hairdressing as her profession after graduating from St. Elizabeth Catholic School, and in the academy met her future husband, Albert Barrish. They opened their own beauty shop, cleverly named "Albernee,' and the salon at Marsh Road and Philadelphia Pike became a mecca for many of Wilmington's most stylish women in the 1960s.

She continued cutting hair and working in salons until her late her 70s, setting up shop at the front counter of All About Hair in Trolley Square, where she was truly beloved.

Bernie and Albert had four children, whom they raised with a tender heart and an iron fist. Though Bernie was a prim-and-proper city girl, she lived for nearly a half-century in the bohemian village of Arden. Her door was always open for a seemingly unending parade of diverse visitors, especially on Christmas Eve. All were treated to her unique brand of sarcastic wit and unbelievable inquisitiveness (those godforsaken never-ending questions) and especially her bottomless reserves of generosity, acceptance and compassion.

As her daughter Linda observed recently, "She was a busybody, but in a good way."

Bernie was preceded in death by her parents and her ex-husband. She is survived by four children, Linda Prickett and her husband Jeff of Townsend and their son Jason; son Cris of Pike Creek and his children Luke and Elizabeth; and sons Drew of Claymont and Jeffrey of Wiesbaden, Germany.

A viewing will be held Tuesday, July 19, 2016 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Doherty Funeral Home, 1900 Delaware Avenue in Wilmington, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 am in St. Hedwig Church, 408 S. Harrison Street, Wilnington, DE 19805. Burial will follow in Cathedral Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be sent to the Capuchin Poor Clares Monastery, 816 N. Jefferson Street, Wilmington, DE 19801.

John F. Yasik

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Published in The News Journal from July 16 to July 18, 2016
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