Bernice Augustine Weaver was born November 23, 1932 to 18 year-old Frances Kraszewski and 21 year-old Walter Augustine. Her first home was with her parents, maternal grandparents and four maternal aunts on Magee Street in Elmira, New York. Adored by the entire household, it was reported her feet rarely touched the ground in those first formative years—they all wanted to hold the precious little girl who looked strikingly like Shirley Temple, the biggest movie star of the day. She was eventually joined by three siblings: Bernard (who predeceased her in 2021), Rita (Pete) Hunt and Barbara (James) Madell. Bernice graduated from Elmira Free Academy in 1950. She was voted Miss Congeniality by her classmates. For anyone who knew Bernice, this is no surprise, her smile lit up every room she entered. She married Elmira Southside football star, Tony Weaver, in 1954 and they had seven children: Kathleen Garofalo (Robert), Paul Weaver (Lynn), Ann Martin (Steve), Mary Morley (Don), Margaret DeLuca, Bernadette Catalana, and Elaine Kroll (Mike). They eventually settled in Endicott, New York where Bernice dedicated herself to rearing their children, ultimately, a task she completed by herself. After she successfully launched all seven, she began the job she often said was the best of her long career: grandmother. Bernice was known as “Grammy” to19 grandchildren (Nicole, Julie, Katelynn, Leah, Angela, Caroline, Joseph, Patrick, Meghan, Zachary, Meredith, Michael, Matthew, Jeremy, Katherine, Carly, Courtney, Louis and Jack) and 19 great grandchildren (Angelo, Aria, Everly, Carter, Connor, Neveah, Nemiah, Noah, Marlee, Darren, Charlotte, Henry, Sofia, Emilia, Benjamin, Thomas, Nicolas, Blake, and Gemma). She relished her role as Grammy and often said her favorite memory was serving as a flower girl at grandson Michael’s wedding. Although raising her large brood was her main profession, Bernice also worked at Lou’s Market (Main Street, Endicott), Burt’s Department Store (Washington Avenue), Endicott Johnson, and as an after school caregiver for the Broome County Catholic Schools. Bernice also provided end of life care to multiple family members and friends. She was a devoted parishioner at St. Ambrose. She attended mass daily for decades and often set up the altar for the early weekday mass. She was so reliable in discharging her duties that if she hadn’t arrived at the church by 6:45 am, the attending priest would call to make sure she was okay. As if keeping up with all of her progeny was not enough, Bernice was an excellent friend to many. She maintained lifelong relationships with several of her Elmira schoolmates, including Ann Cady, Lillian Crossett, and Delores “Toots” Looney. When she moved to Endicott, she became close friends with Joyce England, Lorraine Naro, and Sr. Mary Ann Brawley. One of the biggest challenges for Bernice in her last years was outliving all of her devoted friends. During that time, she was cared for by her family and the compassionate staff of Good Shepherd (Endwell). Bernice was a humble, faithful woman who produced and touched many lives. She will be missed and remembered.
Please join us for calling hours on Friday, October 13 at 9:30 am at Holy Family Church, followed by a mass of Christian Burial. Donations in Bernice’s memory can be made to her favorite prayer community, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois, 1237 W. Monroe Street, Springfield, IL 62704.