Bernadette Nicolaus, 84 of Newcastle, passed away at the Harbor View Cottage in Newcastle on the morning of April 21, 2023. Born in Sligo, Ireland on January 7, 1939, Bernadette was the fifth of six children born to William and Annie (Devins) Morris.
Her sister received her teaching degree in Ireland and then traveled to the United States to begin her teaching career. Bernadette decided to follow her, and enrolled at Caldwell College in New Jersey where she received her BA in Education. She remained in the states to continue her education and received a Master's Degree in Mathematics from Bowdoin College. She really loved the faculty, student body and the lovely town of Brunswick which offered many cultural experiences.
Her career in teaching was mostly done in the Math Department of Ramapo High School in New Jersey. She coached many clubs and worked exclusively with advanced placement math students, who often competed within the state.
Bernadette met her husband, Hank, through a mutual friend and they were happily married for over 47 years. They both loved adventure which led to many travels; summers in Mexico and visits to Russia, Germany, Portugal, France and England. Her favorite spot in the states was Maine, which became their home after retirement.
Bernadette quickly became part of her community here in Maine. She volunteered with the Lincoln County Literacy Program to encourage reading, was treasurer for the national teaching sorority Delta Kappa Gamma, treasurer for the Maine State BeeKeepers Association and was a volunteer in counting the alewives that migrate into the Damariscotta Lake. Always looking to learn and discover new things, Bernadette audited classes at Bowdoin College. She was a member of The Portland Theater Community, Monmouth Theater, Heartwood Theater and the DRA Round Top Barn.
Bernadette always enjoyed being outside. She was famous for her strawberry picking and jam that she would graciously share with friends and family, and was often seen in her garden attire assisting her husband in vegetable harvesting and taking long walks in her neighborhood.
Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Henry; siblings, Vincent, Liam, John, Vera and May.
She is survived by nieces, Ann, Barbara and Bernadette; nephews, David, Michael and John; sister-in-law, Ann; loving friends and caregivers, Paulette Marinari and Lelia Dyer; as well as many great-nieces and great-nephews.
A Memorial Mass for Bernadette will be held at 10:00am, on Wednesday, June 7th at St. Patrick Church in Newcastle. She will be laid to rest with her husband following the service at St. Patrick’s Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for her family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.
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