Bernadine
Bernadine Fernandez was born on November 12, 1922 in San Antonio Texas. She was the eldest of six children born to William F. Deffee and Josefa L. Lozano. Mom's parents were seasonal migrant workers and went wherever the harvest took them. Bernadine (also known as Nina) came to California in 1966 and lived in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles areas. Most recently lived and was cared for at Heritage Rehabilitation Center in Torrance. Mom studied hard to earn her GED and attended Santa Barbara City College. Education was the only thing she could give us that would live forever and that we could instill in our own families. She had many struggles as a single mother and knew that education would be our way out of poverty. Bernadine has been the "go to "person when prayer was needed. Family and friends could count on her novenas, special prayers and rosaries in time of need and thanksgiving. The Sacred Heart of Jesus, Virgin of Guadalupe and Saint Jude of Thaddeus were her favorites, but she was also known to turn San Antonio upside down when something was lost or missing. She had a prayer for every cause and aliment, and often turned to her collection of prayer books, cards and missal for guidance. Mom had an incredible ability to remember dates and events. As resent as Sunday, January 3rd she was running down the list of all the birthdays in the month. At the beginning of every month I would get a list of special cards she wanted me to purchase and send because she was no longer able to do it herself. Mom passed on the same date as our dad, Felix G. Fernandez, her way of not letting us forget the anniversary of his death. She would say to me,"don't forget to light a candle for your dad today is his anniversary" or "today is his birthday". Of course I never forgot but I let her remind me anyway. Family was very important to her and prayed for unity in our family. Mom loved to have family together and cook for us all. When we were young and all still at home there was always Sunday mass and lunch afterwards. She made the best homemade flour tortillas, she finally stopped making them because we ate them faster than she could make them. When mom still had her apartment she often called and said, I made nopalitos come by and I'll make you some tacos or come by after work so you won't have to cook dinner. Since she's been in the home she would have me out searching for her cravings of tacos de cabeza, de lengua and her favorite de cezos, at times a challenge to find. Even though mom was on a special diabetic diet family, friends and caregivers would give in to her cravings of home cooked Mexican foods. She'd call me and say "guess what I ate today?" I could never guess and it gave her so much joy to finally tell me. Two of mom's most resent memorable moments were her 87th birthday on November 12th and Jeffrey and Liliana's wedding on November 21st. On her birthday she donned a Cinderella crown and munched on her favorite foods and of course birthday cake which she loved. The second was the much anticipated wedding. Mom was so excited to get her hair done, wear her beautiful gown and shoes. She was so full of joy and happiness that her prayers had been answered; she was going to the wedding and would dance with Jeff at the reception. Felix wheeled her out to the dance floor and helped her up into Jeffrey's arms to dance. A tearful moment for us all who watched her fulfill her wish. Mom married young and had nine children. In her first marriage she had five children and in second had four. Mom loved us all and was proud of our accomplishments. She is preceded in death by her parents, three siblings and two children Oscar Reyna and Sonia Fernandez. Mom is survived by Adriana Jones, Henrietta Fennell, Celia Maldonado and Elizabeth Fernandez, daughters and Victor Reyna, Felix Fernandez and Joe Fernandez, sons; Arthur Deffee and Ofelia Heidelmeier, siblings, 26 grandchildren, 48 great grandchildren and 10 great great grandchildren. What a legacy Bernadine Fernandez leaves behind. A vigil will be held at Rice Mortuary in Torrance, CA from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm with the rosary at 7:15 pm. The catholic funeral mass will be held at 10:00 am at St. Catherine Laboure. Cremation and shattering will be held at a later date. A gathering of family and friends will be held immediately after the mass at the home of Elizabeth Fernandez (Betty); maps will be made available.

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  1. I have missed you my dear Sister-in-law. You are now with your brother, My dear Dan who I still grieve for. You are with you dear Daughter and all of your other family members. Be at peace and remember you are loved by your remaining children and family. I love you Nina……… Tricia

  2. I ALWAYS smile when I think of my Aunt Nina and the great visits we used to have when I lived in CA. (She made the BEST mole sauce!) My sympathy and best wishes to Betty, Felix, and Joe as well as their families. Much love, Louis Heidelmeier

  3. When I think of Aunt Nina I think of long red nails and beautiful hair!! She was a great lady and boy could she cook! My heart is with Joe, Felix and Betty and know that you are in my prayers and thoughts.

  4. To my cousins and extended family; our sincere sympathy for the loss you are now feeling. I have fond memories of my aunt Nina and she will always be in my heart. She is now in the presence of God standing next to my dear Mother and her brothers. God be with you through this difficult time. Find comfort in Him.

  5. My heart sinks in sadness to hear of Aunt Nina’s passing. She is my Great Aunt, but i’ve always known her as my Aunt Nina. Visualizing her as i sit here I am reminded of her as I knew her.. Long beautiful black and silver hair Oh how I loved her hair and those nails, I liked it when she clicked her nails (smiles) I was only a young girl last I saw her but her memory remains fresh and alive. Sad that she is no longer with us and that I was not fortunate to have seen her before she left us. So she has gone home and is with family and awaits for the rest of us. Aunt Nina, I love u and only have fond memories of u. See u soon take care and know now all is well. (smiles) Rest now and burden no more for great is thy reward. Big Big Huggs.. Your great niece Anna Marie Muraida Connell (Edward Muraida’s daughter) My prayers are with the family during this time In hopes ur hearts find peace and much comfort in the arms of our Loving God.

  6. I also have fond memories of aunt Nina. The family gatherings at her house for xmas and other special occasions. Msy your memories bring you comfort and your faith bring you peace. My deepest sympathy to my cousins and their families. Know that she is now with our lord and in peace. Your cousin Eloise

  7. I also have fond memories of aunt Nina. The family gatherings at her house for xmas and other special occasions. May your memories bring you comfort and your faith bring you peace. My deepest sympathy to my cousins and their families. Know that she is now with our lord and in peace. Your cousin Eloise

  8. Felix, Pamela and are truly sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I found comfort in his words when my sister passed…. For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Kahlil Gibran

  9. Uncle Lou and I are so sad. Nina will be missed by so many people. I will miss my telephone calls and listening to her talk (non stop) about her children and grandchildren. She loved you all very much. She will always be looking down and protecting you Love Aunt Toby

  10. My deepest condolences for those that have lost their mother, their sister, their grandmother, their aunt, and their friend. Although I wish I could mention memories just like everyone else.. I can’t she was my grandmother as well and in my 42 years I met her once or twice. All I have are pictures and cards that she sent and that will be me my memories of her.. May God Bless each and everyone, keep the faith and go on like I am sure she would want you to..

  11. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. Aunt Nina will always be a good memory for me. Her long hair, her nails clicking and her smile. She made my son and I feel at home when we visited once and made my son tortillas w/butter till I thought he would bust! God is holding her close now and she is at peace with family members Take care and you are in my prayers and thought

  12. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members. Nina is at peace now, don’t worry. She is with Mother and my sister and brothers and of course her beloved daughter Sonia…..take care and we love you all Uncle Arthur and Aunt Stella

  13. We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We all loved Nina, especially my mom. Im sure Nina is with my mom in heaven. May our Lord give you peace and comfort. Love, Manuel and Socorro

  14. To the Family of Bernadine Fernandez, Please except my sincere condolences. Our family lost a relative and we miss him a lot. I can’t help but reflect on how precious life is. The Bible says at John 17:3 “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you the only true God, and the one whom you sent forth Jesus Christ.” Isn’t wonderful that one day Bernadine will enjoy life on earth forever. For that to happen she’ll have to be resurrected back from the dead. Did you know that time is coming soon? I would love to share this information with you if you’re interested.. please let me know.

  15. Nina I never got to meet you in person but maybe one day i will on the other side. You are with my dad up above May your soul rest in peace!

  16. I want to send my condolences to the family. I am one of Beradines’ many grandchildren(my mother is her eldest child Adriana Reyna-Jones) I had the pleasure of meeting her when my grandfather (Victor Reyna) passed away quite a few years ago and have a vague memory of her, but never the less she was my maternal grandmother. May she rest in peace and may God bless her soul!

  17. I want to send my condolences and prayers to the family. I am one of Beradines’ many grandchildren(my mother is her eldest child Adriana Reyna-Jones) I had the pleasure of meeting her when my grandfather (Victor Reyna) passed away quite a few years ago and have a vague memory of her, but never the less she was still my maternal grandmother. May she rest in peace and may God bless her soul!

  18. I would like to to send my deepest condolences and prayers to all the family in LA and in Texas. I am the youngest daughter of Celia Reyna Maldonado and granddaughter of Victor F Reyna Sr. My Thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless.

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