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Bernice Smith Canders

Aug 31, 1922 - Mar 18, 2017

Bernice's Story

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Greenville - Bernice Smith Canders, 94, died March 18, 2017, at C.A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville. She was born in Greenville on August 31, 1922, and was the daughter of Arthur and Verna Hamilton Smith. She was known by numerous nicknames including B.C., Becie, Grammie Beci, Bernie, and Queen Bee of the Red Hat group, but probably her favorite was Gigi, which was what her grandchildren and great grandchildren called her. She graduated from Greenville High School in 1941.
She was predeceased by her husband, M. Roland Canders, in 1963 when she was only 40; she became responsible for raising two of her three daughters by herself. Her middle daughter, Carla, passed away in 1995 and Gigi was predeceased by her five brothers and three sisters.
Her first big adventure was to Manchester, CT, in the early 1940's to work for Pratt and Whitney building airplanes. Her favorite place always remained Greenville but the Connecticut adventure gave her a taste for travel, there after whenever given the opportunity, she was more than willing to try anything new, whether it be travels, food, skiing for the first time at Squaw Mountain when she was in her forties, games, recipes, tubing, snowmobiling in Utah or beverages. She was well known for her hosting abilities and her home was always open to family, friends, and strangers. She was always quick to attend to others and a delight to be around. Her positive, can do attitude was an inspiration to many and she served as an excellent role model. She especially loved campfires and anything having to do with grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The list of her community service activities was far longer than the list of her nicknames. She was very involved in a number of civic and non-profit organizations from her early years with the Hospital Auxiliary, The Ready Workers, the Woman's Club, the B.P.W., Greenville Housing, Hospice, the Moosehead Historical Society, the Union Church Food Cupboard and Thrift Store and later volunteering to do art projects with the Greenville first graders. Her employment included several years with D.T. Sanders & Son, Moosehead Gas, and many happy years with Ernie Harvey and Ryders at the Greenville Insurance Agency.
She is survived by two daughters, Tanya Greenvall and her husband, Jake, of Stoney Creek, CT, and Candy Russell and her husband, Maynard, of Greenville, eight grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Even longer than her list of nicknames and activities is her list of friends that will continue to miss her and think of her fondly.
The family would like to thank Dr. Peck, Dr. Babbitt, Andy Groft, and the entire staff at C.A. Dean Hospital for their support and the excellent care they have taken of B.C. over the years.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday March 25, 2017, at the Union Church in Greenville with a reception following at the Bartley Event Center on Pritham Ave. in Greenville. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Union Church, P.O. Box 368, Greenville, ME 04441 or the C.A. Dean Hospital, 364 Pritham Ave., Greenville, ME 04441. Arrangements are in the care of the Lary Funeral Home, Greenville. Condolences may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com.
Published on  March 20, 2017 in
Bangor Daily News
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