Bernice Olinyk

Bernice Irene Olinyk (Rattigan)

Friday, April 3rd, 1925 - Friday, June 4th, 2021
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Bernice Irene Olinyk, age 96 years of Rainy River died peacefully at the Rainy River Hospital on the early evening of Friday, June 4, 2021. She spent the day she passed with her two sons, Dennis and Billy.
She also spent time with her parish priest, Father Thomas, who administered the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Mom received the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist daily before she died.
She suffered a stroke at home a week earlier and was unable to recover from it.
She lived a long and fruitful life and her children and family thank God for giving her to them.
Although there is much sorrow, there is also a much greater peace. She lived a full life. She taught her family and others how to live by her example.
Mom was born on April 3, 1925 at Sleeman, Ontario. She was one of eleven children born to William James and Queenie Emma Rattigan.
She had five sisters; Catherine, Clare, Mary, Gladys and Eunice along with five brothers; Jack, Bud, Wilfred, Bill and Gene. A set of twins died at child birth. All of her family have passed on, except for her sister Clare who lives in Ottawa.
She attended a one room school in Sleeman before going to high school in Fort Frances. After finishing school she went to work at the bank (CIBC) in Fort Frances and later in Rainy River where she would meet her future husband Clarence.
She married dad on October 10, 1949. They raised a family of five children; Cheryl, Dennis, Teresa, Billy and Mary. She raised her children with great love and affection that only a caring and compassionate mother could do and often going without herself.
That same love and tenderness continued with her many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her life was centered on God, Church and family.
She was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Woman’s League for more than 68 years where she helped to perform many acts of charity.
She was a member of the local Royal Canadian Legion, the Silver Star Mother for many years, an honour passed on to her from her mother. She experienced the price that so many paid for our freedom.
Her dedication to family continued throughout her whole life, right up to the time of her passing.
She was there for her mother and her brothers Bud and Jack when they were in failing health. She was the one who would cook the meals, wash the clothes, and clean the house when they couldn’t. She was there for her husband when he was battling two bouts of cancer.
With the historical knowledge she had of our parish she was only too happy to help when it came to know who to call to represent a deceased parish member being commemorated at the annual parish Memorial Mass celebrated on the Feast of All Souls Day.
She was there to organize and put on the many family gatherings such as Christmas, Easter, birthdays, anniversaries, family-reunions, and the list goes on. She did it all, and, she did it well.
She reminisced about her early childhood memories including attending Mass and catechism class at Pinewood, going on sleigh rides, skating on the village rink, playing ball at the “Old Sleeman place,” boating and swimming on the Rainy River, and listening to the barn dance music on the radio Saturday nights at the family home where Grandma Rattigan would invite the neighbours over and later have a little snack before going home.
She remembered, only too well, when the war broke out and three of her brothers went overseas to fight. Bud and Jack came back home but Wilfred didn’t.
And, before that, she lived to experience the Great Depression when there was more “have not” than “have.”
Mom lived a life where she saw and experienced great change. She lived during a time when there was still horse and buggy, when there was no electricity, no in-door plumbing, no washing or drying machines, a time when there were no paved roads to drive to the hospital for child birth.
She experienced a time when life was much simpler than it is today.
Although she experienced change, there were some constants, they were things that existed then and still exist today. Things like love, compassion, faithfulness, kindness, generosity, caring and sacrifice. These things mom never let go of. She held fast to them on this side of heaven and carried them with her to where she is now, with her best friend, Jesus Himself. Amen!!!
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, June 11th, 2021 | 10:30am
    Friday, June 11th, 2021 10:30am
    Our Lady of Good Counsel
    Due to Covid regulations a small private mass by invitation only will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Rainy River on Friday, June 11, 2021
  • Interment

    Friday, June 11th, 2021 |
    Friday, June 11th, 2021
    Forest Lawn Cemetery



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1 tree has been planted in memory of Bernice Irene Olinyk (Rattigan)

Elizabeth Nucci

Posted at 09:39am
My heartfelt condolences to the Olinyk family as they morn the loss of this beautiful women . I am full of warm memories of the Olinyk home and she and Mr. Olinyk will always be held in the highest regard . Kind , generous and full of love best describes this wonderful lady . Thinking of you all .

jo lawrence

Posted at 05:00pm
I have fond memories of Bernice growing up on 6th street . Bernice had a lot of patience for the number of kids who played up and down the street. My condolences to Cheryl, Dennis , Teresa, Mary , Billy and families.
Jo Lawrence (Miniely)

Allan Hayes

Posted at 04:20pm
Love with memories .... The Hayes Family
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Corey Dyck

Posted at 01:44pm
I spent the better part of this past week thinking about my time, as a child, at the Olinyk home. I have wonderful memories and have found myself smiling when I think of playing in the basement with Mary. Being around this beautiful family, along with the Rattigan's was truly a privilege. Our heartfelt condolences to the Olinyk family, your mom was an amazing role model!

Corey Dyck

Michael Mike

Posted at 06:44pm
Our(Michael and Abby) deepest condolences to the Olinyk Family: Berniece Was, Is, and Always Will Be remembered with the 'FONDEST' of memories. For dad(Ab); she was not Just a neighbor and fellow Church goer but Much, much more than that to Him. Berniece was like his 2nd Mother he'd told me once; always 'there' for him, need be 'whatever' it was, always with a big old Smile on her face he said to me on more than just one occasion. For myself; Berniece was like my 'Grandmother'; always 'fawning' over me when we we're together, making sure I was in a good mood, and if for some reason I wasn't; well; whenever I'd left for home from 'her home' or 'Church', I was in more than just a good mood; it was like the 'Holy Spirit' blanketing me 'all over again' like from when I was first confirmed. That's the type of person Berniece Olinyk Was/Is/and Always will be to me; and let's not forget her 'baking skills' shall we now? Sure, alot of bakers here, but when it comes to 'BLUEBERRY MUFFINS' well; Nobody's got anything over on Berniece. Yes, we miss her Terribly of course, but She was a Believer and so are We(Me and Dad); and I/we can 'Guarantee' you that she's up there now 'chatting her up' with Jesus, the Apostles and All of the Saints. We're going to miss you Berniece, but Girl, we're looking forward to the day too when we 'meet again' even More, because 'Then' and 'only then'; we'll be Together Forever. Michael and Ab Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25,26

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