Obituary for Joyce L. Bernier (Buck)
Surrounded by family, Joyce (Buck) Bernier of Manchester, Maine passed away peacefully on November 29, 2017 after a long illness. Joyce was born in Bangor, Maine on July 30, 1942, the middle daughter of Norman and Marion Buck. Preschool years were spent in Eustis where her father was a game warden, and she maintained a lifelong love of the Dead River region, camping on the shores of Flagstaff Lake for many years during annual family trips. After her family moved to Augusta, she attended local schools before graduating from Cony High School in 1960. Having met the love of her life, Robert Bernier (whom she called “Barney”) in high school, she graduated from the University of Maine in Farmington in 1964 and shortly thereafter wedded Barney on June 13, 1964. Her first teaching job was in Orrington from 1964-1967. After the birth of two children, Matthew and Kelsey, she and Barney moved to a wooded lot in Manchester and built a new home for their family, where her passions included vegetable and flower gardens and long walks in the woods. She returned to teaching in 1973 and taught at Buker School in Augusta for the next 27 years, introducing generations of students to great literature, a favorite book being Tolkein’s The Hobbit.
In retirement, Joyce’s gardens flourished in Maine in the summer and Florida in the winter, and in both places gardening tools were exchanged for golf clubs on a regular basis. After moving back to Maine permanently, she and Barney continued their golfing passions at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro, occasionally kicking up their heels to rock-and-roll at family weddings and enjoying a backyard pool. Joyce cherished family gatherings, especially on Christmas Eve when she and Barney hosted a large family gathering. Winter Sundays often found her rocking near a woodstove cheering on the New England Patriots.
Joyce is survived by her husband of 53 years, Robert “Barney” Bernier of Manchester, sister Beverly Buck of Frostproof, FL and sister Norma Mann and brother-in-law Earl, also of Frostproof. She’s missed dearly by Matthew and Tina Bernier of Pittsfield, ME, Kelsey and Andy Ullman of Hopkinton, MA, and much loved grandchildren Abby, Justin, Ben and Maddie. Joyce also had a large extended family, and like her beloved flower gardens they never failed to brighten her world and bring a smile.
A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta, ME. Joyce had been a long term member of the Lioness and Lions Clubs, and donations in her memory for educational scholarships can be made to the Manchester Lions Club, c/o Scholarship Fund, 25 Clubhouse Road, Manchester, ME 04351.