VAN BUREN and HOWLAND – Bernadette (Sirois) Cormier-Charette entered eternal life Nov. 14, 2010. Bernadette, the daughter of George and Lottie (Violette) Sirois, was born Feb. 7, 1913, in Hamlin. With courage and strength, she survived two world wars and the Great Depression. She graduated from Sacred Heart School, Van Buren, and Aroostook State Normal School, now the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and continued her studies at the University of Maine, Orono. In 1938, she received a Lifetime Certificate, one of the last to be awarded. Because of her love for children and education, she dedicated 45 years of her life to teaching in Van Buren and Howland. Bernie retired in 1982 from SAD 31. During her career, she was a charter member of Pentagoet Teachers Club, MEA, NEA and MRTA. During her retirement she was a charter member of the senior citizens club of Eagle Lake. During this time, she volunteered in the RSVP program. Her past membership in the Ladies of St. Ann Sodality of Howland, and a former member of the Daughters of Isabella, Old Town, were sources of enrichment. During her productive lifetime, she contributed her talents to school, community and church functions. While in Eagle Lake, she was a minister of the Eucharist, as well as a rosary leader. Also during her career, she was an active and industrious educator. She piloted a program in 1961 of conversational French in grades three through eight inclusive. She supervised several student-teachers for UMO. Bernadette also taught conversational English in adult education classes, and later privately tutored adults in French. Bernie was instrumental in obtaining the State Bookmobile for the elementary grades in the early 1970s. In 1961, Bernadette attended the French Institute at UMO, being one of 80 accepted out of 700 applicants. Her understanding and compassion of others exceeded the ordinary and she often went the extra mile to provide a word of encouragement to all. She was a caring person, well known and respected wherever she lived. She will be missed by many. The hearts of some students she taught were influenced by her kind, caring, yet challenging technique. Recognition of her efforts and good deeds were rewarded by certificates and awards. In 2008, she received a Legislative Sentiment in recognition of her 95th birthday. Bernadette is survived by her loving daughter, Emileen Cormier; stepson, James Charette and wife, Faye, of New Hampshire; stepgrandsons, Jay and his wife, Lisa, of Fort Kent, and their children, Alex, Alyssa and Micah, and Chris and wife, Kate, and son, Owen, of Portland; and two sisters, Bridget (Joseph) Gosselin of Hartford, Conn., and Augustine (Lorenzo) Cyr of San Diego. In addition to the immediate family, she is also survived by several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and very special nieces, nephews, cousins and fantastic friends. She was predeceased by her first husband, Emile Cormier; son, Gary Cormier; second husband, Toussaint Charette; and two sisters, Laurette (Albert) Cyr and Alfreda (Noel) Levesque. Bernadette was a loving, caring and generous person. Bernadette was a gossamer thread in the fabric of life. I particularly wish to note the excellent care and personal attention to Bernadette by Dr. Sam and the staff at Borderview for the palliative care. Their professionalism and the climate of sincerity made it possible for mother to leave this world in a calm, dignified manner. This much-appreciated care enabled me to be present to her. Visiting hours are 3-5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, and 9 a.m. until time of departure to the church, Saturday, Nov. 27, at Clay Funeral Home, 7 Lee Road, Lincoln. Mass will be noon Saturday at St. Leo Catholic Church, Howland, and interment will be at St. Matthew Cemetery, West Enfield. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate to St. Leo’s Cemetery Fund or Borderview Activity Fund, or offer Masses for her soul. Those who wish may sign an online register and leave written condolences at www.clayfuneralhome.com.