Bernadette Gillis

Obituary of Bernadette Gillis

Link to livestream of funeral mass:


GILLIS (McPhee), M. Bernadette

It is with great sadness that the family of Bernadette Gillis, wife of the late Gerald Gillis, Antigonish, announce her peaceful passing in St Martha’s Regional Hospital on January 20, 2022, aged 93.  Born in De Gros Marsh, PE, and raised in New Glasgow, NS, she was the daughter of the late George and Rose (MacDonald) McPhee. 

Bernadette graduated from St. Martha’s School of Nursing in 1950 and married Gerry in 1951. Bernadette lived her entire married life in Antigonish, dedicating herself to raising her family, contributing to her community and as a faithful member of St Ninian’s Cathedral Parish. Bernadette was actively involved in St Ninian’s CWL, the Antigonish Heritage Society and Museum, and the Antigonish Garden Club as well as other community organizations. Her flower gardens on Hawthorne Street and vegetable garden at the Cove provided years of enjoyment to many. A talented artist, her handmade greeting cards have become family heirlooms. Bernadette and Gerry traveled widely, but for her, the best part of any trip was returning home. As a resident of Sylvan Valley apartments since 2012, Bernadette enjoyed the company of many old and new friends and became an avid card player.

She is survived by daughters Mary MacDougall, Antigonish; Anne (Richard) Vallee, Timberlea; and sons, Robert (Dorothy), Hatchet Lake; Joe (Yvette), Malignant Cove; Paul, Halifax; Greg (Kerry), Antigonish; Michael, Dartmouth; and daughters-in-law, Ida (Jack), Middle Musquodoboit; and Bonnie (Peter), Antigonish.  She is also survived by 26 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and brother Charlie (Pam) McPhee, Huntington Beach, CA.

Besides her parents and husband, she was predeceased by sons John (Jack) and Peter; grandson, Marc Vallee; sisters, Mary Elizabeth McPhee, Doris (Purvis) Cameron, Ursulina (Ed) Stepan and brother Tom (Sally) McPhee, and two brothers in infancy.

A private family visitation will be held on Sunday, January 23, 2022. Funeral mass will be held at St Ninian’s Cathedral, Antigonish, on Monday January 24, 2022, at 11 am, Rev. Danny MacLennan presiding. A livestream link to the funeral mass will be available on Monday. Burial in the parish cemetery at a later date. All those who wish to pay their respects are required to follow COVID-19 Protocols, including wearing masks at all times, social distancing and providing proof of double vaccination. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bernadette can be made to a charity of your choice. Online condolences:


Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Monday, January 24, 2022
St Ninian's Cathedral
121 St. Ninian St
Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
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