Bernice G. Napierski, 69, of Higganum, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, after a valiant battle against cancer. She was born in Germany to Bronislaw Niedbala and the late Gertrude "Trudy" (Schmoranz) Niedbala. Her family immigrated to the U.S. when Bernice was young and they settled in New Britain. She attended Sacred Heart School and graduated from Mary Immaculate Academy and earned her bachelor's degree in education from CCSU.
She began her career with the YWCA and moved on to become a program director at the Wheeler Regional YMCA and then the executive director of the West Hartford YMCA. While at the YMCA, her humanitarian endeavors took her on multiple international trips to the Dominican Republic. She continued on to her second career as a resident service coordinator at Konover Residential Properties at Federation Square in West Hartford. While she enjoyed working at Konover, it was the residents of Federation Square that held a special place in her heart. Bernice dedicated her life to serving others for the betterment of all people. She was a caregiver in every sense of the word and always put others before herself, her selfless and giving nature will never be forgotten. Bernice enjoyed gardening, collecting recipes and spending time at her cottage with family.
Bernice is survived by her loving husband, Edward; her son, Benjamin and his wife, Christine; her adored grandchildren, Cole, Carson, Colin, and Brooklyn; her brother, Michael Niedbala and his wife, Sandra and their daughters, Shannon and Erin Niedbala. She is also survived by numerous friends who were all very special to her, most especially her lifelong friend, Ginny Philippon.
Relatives and friends are invited to call on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 2 - 4 p.m. at the Duksa Family Funeral Homes at Burritt Hill, 332 Burritt St., New Britain. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated directly at Sacred Heart Church on Monday, Feb. 11 at 9:30 a.m. She will be laid to rest privately.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Bernice's name may be made to the New England YMCA Alumni, 38 Center Beach Ave., Old Lyme, CT 06371. Bernice's family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the caring and compassionate staff at the Cherry Brook Health Care Center in Canton. To share a message of sympathy with her family, visit www.duksa.net .