Maria BERNARDO obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Maria BERNARDO

February 27, 1924 - June 12, 2017

Obituary


Maria Bernardo was born February 27, 1924 in Tunis, Tunisia North Africa, a French Colony settled mainly by Italians and French Europeans. Although she was born in Tunisia, she was an Italian citizen and studied at all the Italian schools. She lived with her mother Maria Mazzara, a widow with three daughters. Before World War II broke out, she studied as an apprentice to a seamstress and later in the Italian schools won a scholarship trip to Pisa where she won a parallel bar tournament in gymnastics. She was always very athletic, loved climbing trees,...

Maria Bernardo was born February 27, 1924 in Tunis, Tunisia North Africa, a French Colony settled mainly by Italians and French Europeans. Although she was born in Tunisia, she was an Italian citizen and studied at all the Italian schools. She lived with her mother Maria Mazzara, a widow with three daughters. Before World War II broke out, she studied as an apprentice to a seamstress and later in the Italian schools won a scholarship trip to Pisa where she won a parallel bar tournament in gymnastics. She was always very athletic, loved climbing trees, always loved singing patriotic Italian songs and beloved in love of country and the Italian Nationalistic Movement. After World War II, she continued to sew at home and had become such a well-known seamstress that even members of the Tunisian government requested her services.

In early 1950 she was introduced by friends to Salvatore Bernardo, which later grew into a friendship engagement and marriage in 1956. In December of 1956, she had a son Fabrizio in a very difficult childbirth. Both mother and son would have died if not for an emergency cesarean and both survived. She continued as a seamstress at home while raising her son Fabrizio. Her husband Salvatore worked as an editor at a publishing house named La Savoia.

In 1961, when Tunisia became an independent Arabic State, the family chose to leave Tunisia because of unrest in the country. European businesses had closed. Worship of Christians had become banned. The cathedral where she became married closed. In 1961 the family settled in Elmwood Park, IL. She found work as a seamstress at John T. Shayne Department Store. Although she was always working at the store and had clients at home, she dropped everything whenever her son wasn't feeling well or made sure her son had everything he needed.


She became a citizen in February 1989 and in the early 80's received a Degree in Fashion from the School of Design on Michigan Avenue, while still working as a seamstress at Pennington's Du Canada at Water Tower Place in Chicago. She continued on working as a seamstress until 1990. She retired then to help her ailing mother and husband at home. Her career love and passion was sewing. She loved fashion and designing clothes.

Her love for family and sacrifices for her only son Fabrizio was never ending. Every moment with hardly resting she devoted to her husband and son. She wanted the best in education, style and health for them. After her husband Salvatore passed away in 1993, she always cared for her son Fabrizio even though she suffered with tube feedings the last four years of her life. She endured it because she didn't want to leave her son alone. Always loving, sacrificing, and full of life, this is whom Maria Bernardo was and will be: God's loving angel, loving mother and wife, the gentile, sacrificing, devoted, caring individual. This was my mother, Maria Bernardo, my life.