Bernadine Rose Nelson (nee Bukaty), passed away on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 at Ascension St. Joseph Place Care Facility in Overland Park, Kansas. She was 85 years old.
She was preceded in death by her ex-husband Kenny Nelson, her eldest son, Rick Nelson and her brother, Richard Bukaty. Left to honor Bernadine and remember her loving spirit are her three surviving children; Denise (Marty) Adams, Greg (Melissa) Nelson, and Kent (Jennifer) Nelson; her nine grandchildren: Tiffany (Sean) Stackhouse, Josh Nelson, Cameron Adams, Samantha (Henry) Mascaux, Jackie Adams, Hope Nelson, Xavier Nelson, Maximus Nelson, and Sophie Nelson; and her great grandchildren: Lucas Stackhouse, Charlie Stackhouse, Rylee Reckert, Marley Nelson, Barrett Stackhouse, Wolfgang Adams, Axel Adams, (soon-to-be) Amelia Mascaux and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Bernadine was born in 1934 to Robert and Sophie (Szmania) Bukaty, and grew up in Kansas City, Kansas with her parents and younger brother, Richard (Dick) Bukaty. She was very proud of her Polish heritage. While she attended St. Joseph Grade School, many prayers were spoken in Polish. Bernie grew up surrounded by family in Wyandotte County, Kansas, spending much time with her cousins, aunts and uncles, and maternal grandmother, Eva Szmania.
After graduating from Bishop Ward High School and attending Donnelly College for two years, she married Kenneth (Kenny) Nelson. They raised four children, Richard (Rick), Denise, Greg, and Kent. They moved from Kansas City, Kansas to Chicago, IL, Paducah, KY, and Highland Mills, NY before returning to the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Bernadine loved being in nature, whether she was gardening, roller-blading, or walking around a park. She began ice-skating and roller-skating as a child, and continued to enjoy this hobby well into adulthood, even teaching all of her grandchildren to roller-blade and ice-skate! Bernadine loved animals, and was especially fond of dogs. She raised dogs with her own children and continued to provide affection and devotion to her “grand-dogs” in her later years. Bernadine enjoyed crafting and constructing projects, making handcrafted decorations to place around her home for every occasion and season. She delighted in sharing this hobby with her grandchildren, creatively supplying and preparing holiday-themed crafts for them to complete and cherish. Bernadine was proud of her Polish heritage, and enjoyed sharing the Polish language, customs, and recipes with her children, grandchildren and anyone else interested.
Bernadine was an independent, strong-willed, thoughtful, and tenderhearted woman. Her entire life revolved around caring for those around her and gathering with family and friends. Bernadine’s compassion, generosity, and love for others was evident to everyone who knew her. Her deep affection and empathy were an especially precious gift to her grandchildren and great grandchildren, who affectionately refer to her as “Babcia,” the Polish word for grandmother.
Babcia taught many of us the values of family, generosity, forgiveness, love, and tradition. Although she is no longer able to bless us with her living presence, these life lessons will continue to shape the individuals we are, and influence the people we touch throughout our lives. We will never be without Babcia’s presence, as she will forever be felt within our hearts and within the rooms we share with one another. Kocham Cię, Babcia.
Bernie’s life, love, and faith will be honored by her family with an intimate Catholic Funeral at All Saints (St. Joseph-St. Benedict) Church, 811 Vermont Ave. Kansas City, KS. 66101 on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 10:00am.
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