Conrad “Slim” Omer Bernier, 90, of Rochester, passed away on Sunday May 1, 2022. He was the spouse of the late Anita (Babineau) Bernier, son of the late Omer Bernier and Aurea Poirier, and brother of the late John Bernier and Louis Bernier. Slim was born in Acushnet and lived all his life in the South Coast area.
Slim was a veteran of the United States Army where he trained military working dogs at Fort Carson, Colorado. After completing his military duties, Slim returned to the area, married, and found work with New England Telephone. He remained with the Telephone Company his entire career.
Among his many friends, Slim is perhaps best remembered for his avocations. He was a volunteer fireman for over 70 years, starting at age 12 as a junior member of the Acushnet Fire Department. When he moved to Rochester in the early 1960’s, he joined the Fire Department there. He remained a member for decades. is 50th anniversary with the Rochester Fire Department was marked with the presentation of a gold-plated, fire axe.
Slim had a passion for blacksmithing. He introduced many to the historic craft by demonstrating metalworking techniques at local festivals and by founding the blacksmithing program at the Freetown Historical Society. Slim will also be remembered as a presence at the New Bedford Airport where he taught ground school to aspiring pilots. He led a boy scout troop and coached youth hockey, a sport he learned when he attended Mount Saint Charles.
More recently Slim made the Rochester Council on Aging a priority. He loved the comradery of the weekday breakfasts. He appreciated the French Club and the variety of services offered to seniors. More importantly to Slim, staying active in the C.O.A. honored his late wife, Anita who had been active in bringing the Council to Rochester.
Survivors include his five children: Judith Brandau (Jeffrey) of Sneads Ferry, NC; John Bernier (Lynne) of Rochester, MA; Janet Cote (Rick) of Tampa, FL; Edward Bernier (Karen) of Stuttgart, Germany; and Steven Bernier (Julie) of Tampa, FL; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a brother, Claude Bernier of Glendale, Arizona and a sister, Diane Whitehouse of Denver, Colorado.
Visitation will be Friday morning 8:00 am to 9:00 am at Rock Funeral Home followed by a Funeral Mass at Saint Rose of Lima Church in Rochester at 10:00 am. Interment Sacred Heart Cemetery, New Bedford.
While it is true Slim always had a list of five chores written on the back of envelopes for his kids to do after school, the family is limiting his final list to three items. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Slim’s memory to any of the following organizations:
1. The Rochester Fire Fighter Association, Attn: Memorial Fund, In Memory of Slim Bernier, 10 Neck Rd, Rochester MA 02770
2. The Freetown Historical Society, Attn: Memorial Fund, In Memory of Slim Bernier, PO Box 251, Assonet, MA 02702
3. Rochester Council on Aging, Attn: Eric Poulin, Director, In Memory of Slim Bernier, 67 Dexter Lane, Rochester, MA 02770