Bernice “Barnie” Fish passed away April 12, 2013, in Belfast. At the time, she was receiving the wonderful care of the staff of Harbor Hill. Even though she showed her independence and fighting spirit until the end, her last couple of days were peaceful, and she welcomed moving on.

Barnie was born in Waterville, one of 12 children born to Leversie and Thomas Dyer. She is survived by a sister, Myra Powell; a sister-in-law, Maureen Fish; a son, Robert “Bob” Fish, and his partner, John Stuart; niece Carolyn Heroux, and many other nieces and nephews; and the special group of kids who grew up calling her “Aunt”. Four of these were in her charge from infancy through high school graduation and were frequent visitors even through her final days. Kimberly Wood, Kristen Aldus, Matt Doak and Elisa Doak Paul were shining stars in her life.

Friends, and there were many of them, played another major role in Barnie’s life. Randy and Jane Doak were considered family members always there to help. Edie Ladd and Mary Mullen made sure that Barnie had an active social life, even during her years as a widow. These people became especially important when her husband, Andrew “Andy,” passed away in 2007. Barnie and Andy celebrated their 70th anniversary on Sept. 23, 2006. Independent lady that she was, Barnie continued to live alone until she went to Harbor Hill.

Not one to sit still for very long, Barnie had many hobbies. Her favorite was her vegetable garden. Each spring she would get what she called “garden fever,” and seedlings started sprouting on every available table. Then started the tour of the greenhouses, which always ended at Holmes Greenhouse, her favorite spot. Her final garden was last year at age 98. In the fall she would turn to indoor crafts. She created braided rugs varying in size from small ovals to a round one five feet in diameter; hooked rugs of complicated designs, sweaters, from plain crew necks to intricate Irish knits, and needlepoint for a chair seat or wall hanging.

Barnie never forgot to say “thank you.” So, “thank you” to all family members, friends and neighbors who so enriched her life, to Dr. Thomas Maycock for all of his gentle and kind care and to Cheryl Lucas, Doris O’Toole and the other home health care-givers.

Family and friends are invited to call from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast, where funeral services will be held at 1 pm. Wednesday, April 17. Spring interment will be at Grove Cemetery. Online condolences may be offered at www.ripostafh.com.