Thursday, November 2, 2023
Grandview Tower 2
1425 East 3rd Ave, Vancouver, BC
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December 2023 - Details To Be Announced
December 18, 1958 - October 28, 2023
It is with deep sadness that the family of Bernadette Hedar (Forest) wishes to announce her peaceful passing early Saturday October 28th at the Vancouver General Hospital with her daughters Sarah and Nadia and her sister Cathy by her side.
Bernadette was born in Saint John, N.B. to parents John and Elizabeth (Doherty) Forest and from a very early age she displayed her musical talent in piano and violin. Her love of music would continue throughout her life as a member of the N.B. Youth Orchestra, Symphony N.B., St. Andrew’s Summer Concerts, and summers performing at Rockwood Park. Bernadette worked at the N.B. Musicians Association Local 815, and Symphony N.B. She was recently a member of two orchestras in Vancouver - Ambleside Orchestra, and the West Coast Symphony Orchestra, and had gone to Albania and Macedonia in 2012 on tour. She loved to be part of any community-building and initiated a music social hour in her apartment complex for seniors. Bernadette loved to encourage others in their musical pursuits and often volunteered her time in helping others. You might find her playing in a park or on a bench somewhere and asking for any requests, or providing the playlist at Britannia swimming pool where she swam several days per week.
Bernadette was a volunteer at an elementary school reading program and was a volunteer grandparent aimed at strengthening intergenerational relationships. Anyone could tell she loved people, and especially children. She would delight in the small moments, like sharing a smile with a child on the bus, or seeing them muster courage to pluck a few strings on her violin. Bernadette (Gramma) had a deep love for her grandchildren, often writing them beautiful, curious and engaging letters. Despite her physical limitations she braved a trip to Saint John in the summer of 2022 to be with her family, friends and most of all, her grandchildren.
Despite various hardships, she completed her High School with honours, and later as an older adult she completed her Bachelor’s degree with honours. Bernadette had a gift for writing, drawing and for storytelling and she loved word games. Many of her friends can testify to some great games of scrabble, along with great humor, and a wonderful listening ear that was non-judgmental and thoughtful in her advice. She loved everyone and she was a beacon of love and light. Many have described her as a special and unique person, a gentle soul and radically humble.
Bernadette was predeceased by her parents John and Elizabeth Forest, her former partner Frederick (Ted) White and lifelong friend Anita Sivret. She is survived by her daughters Sarah Hedar, Nadia Hedar (Mwalu Peeters); her grandchildren Zaki, Jad and Amalya; her siblings Cathy Mifflin (Forest), John Paul Forest, William Forest, Marilyn Sood (Forest), and Elisa Dickinson (Forest); her nieces Jenna, Emily, Audrey, Alicia and Maya; her nephews Liam, John, Samuel and Nigel; former spouse Ahmed Hedar; and lifelong friends Dianne Crossman and Tammy Hogan.
We will be holding a small celebration of life in Vancouver on Thursday November 2nd at 1pm (Grandview Tower 2; 1425 East 3rd - unfortunately the space is limited to 60 people) and we plan to hold an additional celebration in Saint John in December (details forthcoming).
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Sistema NB, a music program for kids, or the VSO School of Music in honour of Bernadette. (Click on the links below):