M.G. Daly Funeral Home Ltd. Maynooth, Ontario

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M.G. Daly Funeral Home Ltd.
Mayes, Bernice

It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of Bernice Mayes at Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital on Sunday, May 1, 2022 in her 100th year.  Bernice was born in Montreal in 1922 and was the youngest of four children.  Both of Bernice’s parents emigrated from Poland, and her father worked as a carpenter for C.P.R.  Her mother and father worked together and built a 3 story home in Montreal, which they lived in and rented out for income.  In 1931, Bernice’s mother passed away when she was only nine years old.  Two years later her father remarried, and two new step-siblings followed.  Bernice was first married in 1942 to Bill Stevens (Dutkowski).  Bill and Bernice had two children together, Bernice Jr. and Richard, and spent 17 wonderful years together.  After serving in the War, at age 44 Bill died of Polycystic Kidney Disease.  After Bill’s Passing, Bernice was fortunate to get a good job with Comstock, who then recommended her to Ontario Hydro, which in turn led to a job opportunity at Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL).  When Bernice wasn’t working, Bernice and her kids spent summers tent camping in Algonquin Provincial Park.  Bernice felt that if one could successfully manage tent camping for 2 weeks single-handedly with 2 kids, then one could do anything!  At AECL, Bernice became head of Central Registry, where she met many new friends including her new husband – Philip Mayes.  In 1969, Bernice and Philip were married and would spend 39 wonderful years together.  Philip had two daughters, Diana and Suzy, who Bernice welcomed and loved as her own.  Bernice and Philip lived in Mississauga, before building a country home in Campbellville in the late 1970s.  Together they travelled extensively, including two trips around the world and a variety of cruises.  As well, they would visit family in England at least once a year.  In Campbellville, Bernice was very involved in the Milton District Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary, the Women’s Institute, and the Catholic Women’s League.  Bernice was also very involved with Philip’s Church, St. John’s Nassagaweya in Campbellville.  Bernice joined the choir, ran fundraising events such as plant sales and rummage sales, and the Bridge Club.  Perhaps Bernice’s biggest weakness was her love of shopping and of finding the ‘best deal’!  Together Bernice and Philip hosted many parties to celebrate milestone events for family and friends; for Bernice there was no such thing as a ‘small’ event!  She loved a party and she loved cooking for family and friends.  She wanted anyone who visited to be fed, full and have snacks for the road!  Bernice was also an avid gardener, whose basement was full of plants in the winter and whose garden was always blooming in the summer.  In 2003, Bernice and Philip moved to Guelph to downsize and lived in the Village by the Arboretum for 3 years.  In 2006 they moved to Orillia to Champlain Manor to be closer to family.  In 2008 Philip passed away, but Bernice was determined to continue living and being active.  Here she was involved in playing Bridge, enjoyed outings and participated in any activity that was offered.  While at Champlain Manor, she was recognized with an award for involvement and participation.  In 2013 at 91 years young, Bernice decided that she needed a change and she needed to get going, so she moved to Leacock Retirement Lodge on the other side of town in Orillia.  Here she continued to organize Bridge games, play Bingo and Rummikub, volunteer as treasurer for the Resident Council, take art classes, and of course organize fundraisers such as Granny’s Attic Sale and plant sales.  In fact, she organized and ran a plant sale just 2 weeks prior to her passing.  Family was always so important to Bernice.  Nothing would keep her from family birthdays, Easter at Whitney, Thanksgiving at Almaguin or Christmas in Campbellville.  She was always prepared to welcome anyone into her home – family, friend or stranger.  She loved people and she loved to volunteer and to help those in her community.  Although there were several times in her life that were difficult, she wouldn’t let the dark days stand in her way.  Bernice always found a way to fix, alter, change, or move around what stood in her way.  She always found a solution and refused to give up.  I believe that Bernice’s parting advice would be: take every opportunity, family is most important, friends are family, don’t buy anything for full price, eat well, ‘it can’t hurt to try’, save and reuse, ‘don’t throw that out!’, be kind to each other, plant a garden, work hard and be thankful for what you have.

Her beautiful smile, warm hug and contagious laugh will be missed by her daughter Bernice (Jim) Hollett, and step-daughter Diana Egmore (Barry Hutchinson); Her grandchildren Anna (Mark) Cuthbertson, Willy (Amy) Hollett, Chad (Heather) Stevens, Matthew Stevens, Samantha and Tiffany Egmore, and Naomi Moore; Her great-grandchildren Jessica and Jacqui Cuthbertson, Wyatt, Everett and Seeger Hollett and Milo & Theo Egmore.  Her half-brother and sister Tony Przedwojewski and Julie Radwanski.  Bernice was pre-deceased by her son Richard Stevens, step-daughter and son-in-law Suzy and Peter Moore.  A special thank you to everyone who helped to care for Bernice at Leacock Retirement Home & Soldiers Memorial Hospital as well as all the doctors.

Bernice’s funeral mass will take place on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at St. Martin of Tours Roman Catholic Church, 41 Post St., Whitney, ON, K0J 2M0.  Visitation will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., prior to mass at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bernice may be made to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.  Arrangements entrusted to M.G. Daly Funeral Home, Maynooth. (613) 338-3259 (Condolence messages may be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it or visit www.mgdalyfuneralhome.com).


M.G. Daly Funeral Home Ltd. Maynooth, Ontario. Serving Bancroft, Barry's Bay, Bird's Creek, Hastings Highlands, Maynooth, Whitney.