Obituary, April 2010 . . .
[revised April 18, 2020]
Bernice “Bernie” Marion Coops was born April 19, 1928 in Athelstan, PQ, the daughter of Robert Wells Lumsden and Lizzie Martha (Crutchfield) Lumsden. After his wife’s death in the early 1930s, Wells moved Bernie and her sister, Roberta Joyce, to Picton, Ontario, where he continued to raise them as a single parent.
When she was 18, Bernie left Picton for Toronto, where she trained as a hairdresser. On a visit home in 1947, she met Glenn Coops (Pentz, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia) who had enlisted in the army during World War II. Upon his completion of officer training at RMC in Kingston, Ontario, and prior to his deployment to Korea, Glenn and Bernie were married on May 31, 1952.
Bernie continued her profession until 1957 with the birth of their daughter, Phyllis Lorraine. Glenn remained in the military his entire career leading to many relocations for the family. Bernie always looked upon these moves as an adventure, and she quickly became at home wherever the family ended up. She made many life-long friends throughout the family’s travels.
She remained close to her sister, Joyce, and spent many happy hours on the farm in Hillier, Ontario; she is fondly remembered by her Rolston nieces.
A highlight of Glenn’s career and Bernie’s biggest adventure was his stationing in Moscow in the early 1980s. Bernie persevered at language school and was able to both speak and read Russian. During their time in the then Soviet Union, Glenn and Bernie travelled extensively; they visited countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Finland, as well as places inside Russia such as Georgia and the Ukraine. Bernie thrived as a host and made many friends in the diplomatic community.
Bernie was always artistic; she won a province-wide drawing contest in Grade 3. She expanded her repertoire from charcoal sketches to oil then watercolours. When Glenn retired to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Bernie found ample landscapes to capture on canvas. Her best friend, Phyl Wilson, often joined her on painting expeditions. When Phyl died, her daughters Linda Wilson and Diane Mitchell “adopted” Bernie into their families as a “second mother.”
Bernie was active with the South Shore Regional Hospital Auxiliary for a number of years, especially with the Dawson Daisy. Neighbours Grant and Florence Hiltz were of great help to Bernie over the years.
She died at South Shore Regional Hospital (Bridgewater) on April 20, 2010 at the age of 82.
[revised April 18, 2020]
She is survived by a daughter, Lorraine, son-in-law, Douglas; sister-in-law, Norine Coops (Maple Ridge, British Columbia); 4 nieces, Suzanne Meulanaar, Nancy Sereda, Rhonda Miller (Ontario), Patty Smid (British Columbia); 2 nephews, Danny Coops, Joseph Coops (British Columbia); and many great-nieces and nephews in Ontario and British Columbia. She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Glenn Cameron Coops; sister, Roberta Joyce Rolston and brother in-law, Robert Rolston; sister-in-law Carol Claire Coops; brother-in-law David Coops, mother-in-law Dora Lucy Haughn Coops; a cousin, Ruth Bryson; and 3 nephews Robert, David, and John Rolston; and several aunts and uncles.
There will be no visitation or service. Arrangements are being handled by Sweeny’s Funeral Home, Bridgewater. Interment will be in Brookside Cemetery next to Glenn. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bernie’s memory can be made to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation and/or to the Nature Conservancy.
image: “Green Bay/Broad Cove,” southshoreconnect.ca