Anna L. Bernadicou
Our beloved Tantine (French for Aunt) left us to be reunited with her sister Jeannette Palacin on January 4, 2019. The two inseparable sisters were everything to each other having lost their mother, Madeleine Lilles Bernadicou, to tuberculosis when Anna was less than two years old and Jeannette was nine. Jeannette’s husband, Raymond Palacin, was certainly alongside to greet her. It was a love fest, the three of them. On hand as well would also be Anna’s father Calixte Bernadicou, who adored his two daughters and they him.
Tantine will be greatly missed by her two nieces, Terry Norton and Madeleine Palacin, Terry’s husband Dennis Norton, Tante’s great niece and nephew Erin Norton Farber and Casey Norton along with their spouses Todd Farber and Sara Huckabone, and the great-greats—Ryan Farber, Samantha Farber and Shasta Norton.
After graduating from Galileo High School, Anna applied for a job at Matson Shipping Lines where she told her interviewer, “I’d like to stay here a while.” She retired 46 years later with a cadre of fabulous girlfriends and marine personnel hires as her lifelong friends. She was one of “Matson Business Girls,” a beloved member of the Marine Personnel team who hired the sea going personnel. The company described her as “one of the most popular girls around Matson . . . a warm link between the Navigation Company ashore and the people who sail the ships.”
At Matson Anna made lifelong friends--Muriel Penfield, Laurel Gilbertson, Betty Britt, Alice Rogers and Margaret White, to name a few. Thanks to the Matson Company perks they traveled to Tahiti and Hawaii for peanuts, $40 round trip on the Lurline. Because she knew everyone on the ship from the boiler crew to the Captain she was treated like royalty on board.
She never married, never smoked, never drank, never drove a car and never liked vegetables. But it’s the things Tantine always did that we will remember and miss her for. She was always loving, thoughtful and generous, wicked smart and a fun conversationalist. She always remembered our milestones with cards and gifts, she always called to see how we were, she always remembered our friends and details about their lives, always asked after them, she was always at the ready with a joke, which, by the way, she would tell after saying, “Pick a category” and sure enough the joke was appropriate and funny.
She moved to the Heritage in San Francisco eight years ago to be near her sister Jeannette who was living there at the time. True to her amazing social magnetism she immediately made friends, especially Stella Voyles with whom she shared so many laughs, prayers and stories. Amazingly at 95 she was still in touch with many friends from her personal and professional lives—she mailed out over 80 Christmas cards last month that went across the country!
In her final days the staff of the Health Center—wait for it, many of whom had become her friends too— took amazing and loving care of her. She was tiny and could seem frail but she was amazingly strong and they handled both sides of her so well. Thank you to all for your patient and affectionate care. Also we’d like to thank broad-smiled Kester Ramo of Sutter Health Hospice for calming and charming her in her most difficult days and laughing at her jokes.
Can’t finish her story without a tip of the hat to the Warriors, Giants and 49ers.
Their ratings are going to go down--they’ve lost a loyal, knowledgeable and dedicated fan. Also ATT--she loved, loved, loved the phone. One night she got a wrong number, the two women hit it off and had a phone friendship for a long time after. That how easily she made friends all her life. Rest in Peace, Tante. We love you.
A private burial was held at Holy Cross Cemetery. She will be remembered at masses at both St. Vincent de Paul and Notre Dame Des Victoires. Donations may be made to your favorite charity.