Obituary for Bernadine Astesana
October 7, 1934 – July 30, 2021
Bernadine Astesana passed away after a battle with mesothelioma cancer, on July 30, 2021 at home with her son, daughter, and son-in-law at her side. Services will be held at St. Patrick’s Parish on August 10th with a rosary at 10am, followed by a 10:30 mass. A reception will follow at the hall. The family will attend a private burial immediately after the ceremony and return for remembrances.
Bernadine was born October 7, 1934 in Sugar Notch, PA. to Edward and Martha Suchodolski. The family moved to California in 1944 where Bernadine and her sister Joan attended Mount Saint Mary’s through 12th grade where Bernadine graduated as class valedictorian. It was at MSM where she met “Casanova” Carlos who she later married at St. Patrick’s Parish on Feb. 24, 1957. As a young couple they spent many days helping care for their nieces and nephews, the Davy’s, Astesana’s, and Harris’. They enjoyed being Collie parents while anticipating a child of their own. In 1962 their son, David, was born and died tragically shortly after birth. They looked into adoption and enthusiastically welcomed James, Dale, and Gregory, all natural brothers, into their lives a week before Christmas in 1964. Two years later, they adopted a baby girl, Susan.
Always dedicated to family and friends, Bernadine loved sending cards with sticker-covered envelopes and embraced Facebook which allowed her to make frequent connections with distant relatives and friends. The California Coast was special to her, enjoying many trips to Moss Beach, Santa Cruz, and Fort Bragg. On the East Coast were her many Aunts, Uncles and cousins; she would spend several weeks at a time reminiscing with them. She loved art and to travel taking several memorable trips to Europe, the Holy Land, Greece, and Hawaii.
At the family business, The Oaks Supermarket, Bernadine worked as the book keeper until the business was sold due to Carlos’ health issues. She took this retirement opportunity to return to college attending CSU- Sacramento to obtain her AA degree. Soon after graduating she accepted a job teaching Title I at Mount Saint Mary’s. She enjoyed working with the kids for the next 8 years and after retiring a second time, took to caring for her many grandkids. Education was very important to both Carlos and Bernadine and they paid for tuition at MSM and later offered to pay for textbooks to any grandchild attending college.
In 2007, Bernadine was diagnosed with mesothelioma and opted for surgery. Carlos and the family were by her side during her long recovery. We were blessed that she was able to travel and lead a cancer-free life for the next 10 years until the cancer returned where she went through a series of chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments. In January of 2021, Dr. Cambell referred her to Hospice and within the next couple of months she was needing 24/7 care.
Her entire life she was always thinking and caring for others. This July she prayed to not miss her daughter’s birthday or her first granddaughter’s ten days later. She celebrated both only to say she was sorry she wasn’t able to bake a cake or give presents. She was an amazing woman; selfless, caring, old school soul who still wore lipstick for the Hospice nurse under her Covid mask.
She is survived by her son, Greg (Tina), her daughter, Susan (Jon) both of Grass Valley, sister, Joan of Susanville, her aunts Jean and Florence of Wilkes-Barre, PA., her 13 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her infant son, David, sons James and Dale, and her “sweetie” of 61 years, Carlos. Thank you to the Hospice staff, especially Svenia and Suzanne. Memorial contributions can be made to Mount Saint Mary’s, Saint Patrick’s Parish, and Hospice of the Foothills.
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