Bernetta was born and raised in Schenectady, NY. She was one of seven children raised in a family of florists during the Depression. Bernetta graduated from The School for American Craftsmen at Alfred University in 1948. Her area of expertise was ceramics. She helped to develop new and innovative glazes. In 1949, Bernetta married and moved to Skaneateles to raise her family. She always said her most cherished accomplishment was her three children; Linda, Peter and Lisa. Not only was she a dedicated mother, but a friend and confidant throughout their lives.
Her values were the strong foundation of their lives and those of their children.
Bernie loved her property. She spent 68 years passionately and skillfully transforming an abandoned farm into a unique and beautiful homestead. Bernie hauled in local fieldstone and built numerous stone walled gardens in addition to the large stone fireplace, bathroom, and greenhouse on the inside. The old chicken coop was converted to a workshop and "The Shop" which hosted countless teenage parties and family gatherings throughout the years. She loved refinishing and reupholstering old furniture. Bernie spent countless hours sewing beautiful outfits. Her children were fortunate to always have handmade clothing.
In 1971 Bernetta received her master’s in teaching and taught art at Lincoln School and Casey Park. She dedicated 25 years to the Auburn Enlarged City School District. Her tireless commitment and enthusiasm for original creativity and problem solving engaged all students to love art and learning. She always felt the arts and hands-on learning would open their hearts and minds.
Bernie was a member of the Skaneateles Garden Club. She won numerous ribbons for her creative and talented arrangements. Bernie, along with her family, helped to build the Ski Club. She built the stone fireplace in the original chalet. Her talents were tireless and endless.
Bernie is survived by her three children; Linda (Momcilo), Peter (Cindy), and Ellisa (Randy). Three grandchildren: Peter and Kevin Eldred, and Brittany Fast (Chris), and three great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two grandsons, Peter Hohn and Weston Eldred and one great grandchild, Austin Fast.
The family will have a private celebration of Bernie's extraordinary life in the fall. She will be remembered as a hilarious and witty observer of life, a beautiful soul, a unique gift to all who crossed her path.
Donations in Bernie’s name can be made to the Weston D. Eldred Memorial Scholarship, CCC Foundation, 197 Franklin Street, Auburn, NY 13021
To send condolences, visit robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.