Bernadelle Mehmert

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Bernadelle 
Mehmert

Mehmert, Sr. Bernadelle, SSSF
Sister Bernadelle Mehmert April 11, 2014, age 91. Preceded in death by her parents Bernard and Mary, and her brother, Joseph. Survived by six nieces and nephews, their families and special friends – S. Beverly Bach, Virginia (Sam) Bastian, Katie Hanson (Godchild) and many other friends and the School Sisters of St. Francis with whom she shared life for 73 years. Visitation at St. Joseph Convent Chapel, 1501 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee, WI, on April 15, 2014, Wake Service at 10:00 AM, Mass of Resurrection at 11:00 AM. Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Milwaukee. Memorials to the SSSF International Office of Mission Advancement, 1501 S. Layton Blvd. Milwaukee, WI 53215 or www.sssf.org
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Past Comments

D'Anita

My deepest sympathy to all in your family for the loss you have suffered. May you find comfort in your family, friends and the future promises in God’s word. He has promised to end death forever and reunite us with our dear loved ones (Rev 21:4 & John 5:28, 29) May you continue to remember the fond memories of your loved one

D'Anita

My deepest sympathy to all in your family for the loss you have suffered. May you find comfort in your family, friends and the future promises in God’s word. He has promised to end death forever and reunite us with our dear loved ones (Rev 21:4 & John 5:28, 29) May you continue to remember the fond memories of your loved one

Jim Collins

Was that special kind of person that was destined to become an amazing teacher. Her confidence, commitment and desire to work with us (her students) instilled in us a desire to succeed when we questioned our desire or abilities. She was patient and always had time for us – even when we did not have time for our lessons. There was always a seat in the front of her class to get to know Sr. Bernadelle when one was restless or not following directions. But at the end of those days having gotten to know Sr. Bernadelle well there was an encouraging word and a shared laugh. God bless her.

Jim Collins

Chet Nichols

She was “inspiration” personified!

First of all, I want to send my prayers up to heaven for our beloved Sr. Bernadelle and for her friends and families. Oddly enough, if you Google the word Bernadelle, she is the only person who comes up and comes up first. Clearly, she was a “One-In-A-Trillion” type person.

I met Sr. Bernadelle at St. Joseph’s Grade School in Wilmette, Il where I attended school from kindergarden to 8th grade. My first “real” exposure to her was in first grade when we left our classroom to go to the choir room where Sr. Bernadelle led us in singing songs. On that first day, this “class” immediately became my favorite to attend. Perhaps because I grew up in a house where my dad, was an opera and radio singer and musician and where my mother was a singer and pianist. Sr. Bernadelle’s class “felt like home”.

I knew she took to me, too, because of my clear booming voice. After one of these “classes”, a year or so later, she asked if I would follow her to her music room. She needed help carrying a tape machine, an old Wollensack reel-to-reel machine. I followed her up to the mysterious and off-limit, sprawling attic above St. Joseph’s school with it’s dorm windows and vaulting wood-beamed ceilings. She pointed out the machine and I carried it down to music room on the east side of the school’s main entrance.

I stood and watched her intently, as she plugged the tape machine up and racked-up a real-to-reel tape, and set up a microphone. Once done, she said, “Chester, come over here and I want you to sing into the microphone. Sing the song we’ve learned, “Bounce The Little Rubber Ball”. I was a bit set back at first, but she assured me it was going to be fun. She turned on the machine and then sat down to her Steinway piano and played the piano and I sang the song. We did three takes, not taking a break, then she turned the tape machine off. She rolled back the tape and we listened to the recording. I was somewhat shocked at listening to my own voice coming from the tape machine’s speaker.

She smiled and said, “OK, back to class”. But, as I left her room she stopped me and said, “Your father would be very proud if you were to become a singer”. These words have stuck with me for all these years. You see, my father had taught me to sing and sadly, he had passed away a few months earlier.

Lord, who I wish I had a copy of that tape.

Actually, a year before this “recording session”, I had begun to study cello and piano with Sr. Bernadelle. Over the next several years, under her expert teaching and my seeming natural abilities and love-and-dedication for music, I became quite the cellist and pianist.
In 7th and 8th grade, I was selected to be the Concert Master of the Chicago Archdiocese Youth Orchestra as a “first cellist”. This is/was an incredible honor because the concert-master is almost always the first violinist.

I continued my studies with her until I graduated and had added the study of guitar in my summer of before 8th grade following a summer where I spent in San Diego where I stayed with my Uncle Jack, Aunt Bea and cousins, Pat, Mike and Paula. It was during this trip that I bought my first guitar in Tuijana, Mexico for $8.36 in an open-air bazaar. I knew three chords; E-A-B7.

After, I left Sr. Bernadelle and attended New Trier High School, I concentrated on singing, theater and guitar. I still played a little cello when I could find one to fiddle with and I still studied piano and played it regularly at home. I became quite the singer at New Trier where I rose thru the select boy’s choirs under the guidance of Dr. William J. Peterson and Dr. Robert Stevens.

But, all that time, I never forgot Sr. Bernadelle, but lost track of her for a while because she moved to Milwaukee to teach.

Joan C. Neff

aka Joan COLLINS Neff 🙂

Chet Nichols

FROM CHET NICHOLS: I am not going to bore you with a history of my music career which now extends 60 years when I count my very first piano studies with her at 6 when I was in first grade. I have just released my 18th CD of original material. On my CDs, I play all the instruments, write the lyrics and sing all the part.

I was inducted into The Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2008 after having spent 12 years touring as a singer-songwriter and entertainer.

I still write and compose EVERYDAY to this day.

This week, I released my new CD, “I Was Dreaming”, and upon hearing about Sr. Bernadelle’s passing, I am dedicating it to the memory of Sr. Bernadelle.

Oddly enough, three years ago when I began working on this CD, I set out to write a song about Sr. Bernadelle and her influences on me and my career. The end result is a song that is one the album entitled, “Bernadelle”. It is a love song about a man who has a vision of a woman and embarks upon a journey to find her. He travels across an ocean and over land to find her living on a boat resting on the River Seine in Paris.

You can hear this song, “Bernadelle” and the whole album, “I Was Dreaming” at my music site: http://www.chetnicholsmusic.com

Feel free to contact if you like.

Bottom line is Sr. Bernadelle was and angel sent from God to inspire all of us with her love, near-ending energy and deep convictions that inspire all who were lucky enough to spend ANY time with her. I was TRULY blessed to be one of her students.

PS I will post some pictures shortly of me with my cello and with some of the people she taught.

Penelope O'Reilly

Dear Sweet Sister Bernadelle – Her gift for music and her generosity in sharing it made a true difference in my life. Sight reading, choir singing, group singing all began with her instructions. Her teaching meant all the difference when I was given a music scholarship to a fine high school. A recent letter she sent me was filled with her wisdom and kindness which was genuine and sincere. She was a special woman and will not be forgotten by me and many, many others who were fortunate to know her.

Penelope O’Reilly, former student at St. Joseph’s Grade School, Wilmette, Illinois

Elena Calhoun

She was so energetic and a dynamo. She and Sr. Edwardine were a dynamic duo. They took care of the Chang children when our parents were out of the country. I remember my sister Chi threw up in her bed and they had to wash her blanket in the middle of the night. I know the word to songs that surprise even myself.

Elena Chang Calhoun
St Matthias, class of 1966

My thoughts are with Sam Bastian.

Ann Hapke Drosen

The good old days when Sr. had so much energy and love for all the kids she taught. She taught all of us how
to read and sing to music. One teacher I will never forget. Rest in peace..

Jim Collins

Was that special kind of person that was destined to become an amazing teacher. Her confidence, commitment and desire to work with us (her students) instilled in us a desire to succeed when we questioned our desire or abilities. She was patient and always had time for us – even when we did not have time for our lessons. There was always a seat in the front of her class to get to know Sr. Bernadelle when one was restless or not following directions. But at the end of those days having gotten to know Sr. Bernadelle well there was an encouraging word and a shared laugh. God bless her.

Jim Collins

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