Community mourns loss of "wonderful, incredible lady"

by Vance Gutzman

The community of North Renfrew came together as one last week to mourn the passing of one of its leading lights.

Bernice Blimke passed away on December 13 at the age of 86, and a full house attended a celebration of her life at the Deep River Community Church last Friday.

And what a life it was, as was made clear at the Bear’s Den, where people gathered throughout the afternoon to share their memories of a hard-working woman who played such a vital role in the community.

bernice blimkeBlimke, who with her husband Lyn were long-time owners of the Bear’s Den, was remembered by many for the early and long hours both of them put into running the business.

Right up until the end, and more than two years after selling the business to the Patel family, the couple could be found working at the the Bear’s Den before the crack of dawn, with Bernice toiling away in the kitchen.

Her contributions to the business, and the community as a whole, were attested to not only throughout the day on Friday, but in a number of online tributes as well.

“Such a warm, kind woman and a wonderful baker. It was good to have known her for over 29 years. She will be missed,” one person wrote on a Facebook page that was established in Bernice’s honour.

“Her kindness and warmth made Sunday dinners at the Bear’s Den a very special event for our family,” said another. “Our community has lost a great person and we wish to thank Bernice and her family for bringing us all together all these years. Her legacy was indeed in creating community.”
Bernice’s legacy lives on through her son, Doug, and grandson, Scott, along with grandchildren Abby Rose, Isabelle and Bronson.

> for the full story, pick up a copy of this week’s NRT…