She was born in Kingston, NY on June 10, 1917 to the late Charles E. and Cordelia (Clash) Burke.
Bernice moved to Oakville, CT at a very young age. She lived there until she met and married Earl S. Jackson to whom she was married to for nearly 40 years. Bernice raised three families. At age 15, after her mother died, she started raising her five siblings and in between, she raised her own three children, Elaine, Earle, Cheryl “Penny” and finally several grandchildren until she was in her mid 90’s.
Bernice was very active in her neighborhood where she was a member of the Crownbrook Neighborhood Association. In her spare time she ran drug dealers off of her block, fed anybody in the neighborhood who was hungry, and in the winter fed her beloved neighborhood wildlife, squirrels, pigeons, starlings, and sparrows by the hundreds. She had a mouse once in her house, and wanted to catch it so she put out some D-Con. But then after a few days she started to worry and felt bad. She was ever so relieved when she finally saw him scamper cross the floor a few days later knowing that she hadn’t hurt him.
For years there was the occasional three or four people deep lined up on her porch in the morning waiting for her to awaken so they could borrow $5 or $10 dollars. She gave until her money ran out, none of which was ever paid back. That was Bernice.
She lived most of her life in Plainville, CT where she worked two jobs; cleaning the Koskoff Law Offices and she was also a custodian for almost 25 years at the Broad Street School where she touched the lives of thousands of Plainville youth. Even to this day, she is still known and is one of Plainville’s most beloved people who ever lived in the town. There will probably never be statues or plaques erected in her honor, or parades or days-off celebrating her birthday, but she spent her entire life helping people, always giving back and never expecting anything in return but love.
Bernice leaves to cherish her memories one son, Earle L. Jackson Sr. and his wife Pat of Coral Springs, Florida, 7 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 16 great-great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends. In addition to her husband Earl, she was predeceased by two daughters Cheryl Johnson and Elaine Acquit, sisters Roberta Burke and Lorraine Beamon, brothers Eric Burke, Robert Burke, Gordon Burke Sr. and granddaughter Berline “Pookie” Howard.
Services will be held 10:00am, Friday, July 5, 2019 at Chapel Memorial Funeral Home, 35-37 Grove Street, Waterbury, CT with burial immediately following service at New Pine Grove Cemetery, 850 Meriden Road, Waterbury, CT
The Family would like send a special thank you to everyone at the Abbott Terrace Health Center and to her grandson Mark Howard.