Berna was born in Katrine, Ontario, February 8,1939 to Edwin Neal and Florrie Neal (Nelson). At that time there was a general store kitty corner across from the existing Katrine Store and that was the Neals’s family home and place of business. Berna had an event filled northern Ontario childhood with summer’s swimming in the Magnetawan River and winters tobogganing, sometimes across the CN Railway tracks! The family moved to Belleville for work in wartime production factories. She was the youngest child with 3 brothers and one sister, Edith with whom she was always very close despite the age difference. They were close while growing up and throughout their adult lives, in addition Berna maintained a close relationship with Edith’s daughters Nancy and Sandy right up to the present. Berna and her brothers Ted, Bill and Clifford spent much time together when all her brothers retired to Katrine.
While working down south during wartime her sister Edith meet a young Pringle boy, Gordon, and they were soon married. So was established the Neal Pringle family connection as Berna met Gordon’s younger brother Irvin (Skip) and the two began going to the movies and this blossomed into a relationship culminating with marriage in August 1957. In 1958 Neal was born while the young family lived in an apartment in the bustling post-war Oshawa, Ontario. Berna remained a stay at home homemaker as was common at the time. The family constructed a bungalow in Hampton, outside of Oshawa and lived there for the next twenty plus years. During this time a second son, Mark, was born. While in Hampton, Berna was active in local service activities including the United Church Women, Boy Scouts, United Empire Loyalists among which Berna did research and established a direct Pringle family descent and participating and leading weekly Bible study groups. Throughout her life she was always very happy to play a game of scrabble with her mother, or a neighbour such as Gertie in Katrine with whom she played weekly for many years.
Upon Skip’s retirement from General Motors of Canada, the family minus Neal who was married and starting his own family by this time, moved to the Burks Falls area. Construction of the log homestead Torwoodlea ensued with many gardens, a trout pond and a large veggie patch. Sylvester the Maine Coon cat was there for companionship throughout the times at Torwoodlea. During this time in the 80’ 90’s Berna and with her loving sister Edith took trips to the UK to tour and conduct Neal family research in Bristol. Berna enjoyed travelling and learning about places. Also, during the Torwoodlea years Berna joined the Ryerson Township quilting club and continued to meet weekly for almost forty years plus loving to quilt on her own.
With Torwoodlea becoming too much of an effort, Berna and Skip moved to Katrine, her birthplace community and developed wonderful flower beds, and a smaller yet abundant vegetable garden. Berna remains held in love by her husband, Skip, of 66 years and their son Neal with wife Pat and their sons Jason and Todd and by son Mark, wife Sasha and their daughters Charlotte and Clara.
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)