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Official Obituary of: Elaine Elizabeth Bedard, 70, on December 9, 2021

Elaine Elizabeth Bedard, 70, on December 9, 2021

Community–Ripple Effect

On May 8, 1951 Elaine Elizabeth Bedard was born to her family, Chris, Bob & Mickey–her first community–like a drop in a pond. Then as a big sister she welcomed Jimmy, Ginny & John to her ever-widening family community of Bedard and Mooney cousins.

Through her 70 years she acquired more and more communities. Her longest childhood friend Karen added a loving and ever-present encompassing ripple to Elaine’s life. Even before becoming a Girl Scout, Elaine innately knew it was the silver and gold of new and enduring friendships that would drive her life and give it the deepest of riches. As a candy striper at Sturdy, her caring ways expanded. Elaine’s involvement in activities at North Attleboro High School, combined with teachers who inspired her, planted the seed of becoming an English teacher.  Her Wheaton College experience added Brenda specifically along with copious amounts of laughter. UNH, where she obtained her Masters, added the ripple that would send her back to North High.

Now we come to her teaching career–talk about ripple effect.  Her mentors to name just a few–Vic Lister, Judy Cobb and Mary Ellen Samma– whole-heartedly embraced Elaine with her enthusiasm, skills and love of the English language–written and spoken. Suzanne, a guidance counselor at North, developed a lasting friendship with Elaine that started with something like “you wanna come over for skillet lasagna”. 
The laughs compounded for Elaine with acceptance of the dinner invite. Elaine’s most lasting contribution to her students came in teaching kindness, compassion, and critical thinking–specifically asking students to pause and think about how certain activities/decisions would affect their families. North was not all work & no play–not when Vinny, Rus, and Charlie, among others were in the building–Elaine’s eyes certainly sparkled as stories were relayed. Mary, Kathy, Jeannie, Sue, Bob, Patty, Art, the Frutcheys, the Dereks and so many others added more depth to Elaine’s North experience. Forgive us for not mentioning more colleagues; it is not for lack of importance in Elaine’s life–a wide community indeed. As Elaine was happily welcomed by her mentors, she too widened her community by mentoring wonderfully inspired teachers–I know there are so many, and you know who you are as you can feel and remember the warmth and encouragement extended to you by Elaine. Elaine’s mentoring of Marilou provided Elaine a kindred spirit and a beautiful and loyal friendship.

Of course as was Elaine’s way–each person’s family was absorbed into her community–whether fellow teachers or students–her interest and care has no end–still. 

A book presented to Elaine upon her retirement contains personal thoughts by students of Elaine’s contribution not only to effective English Language skills but also life skills. All the letters Elaine received through and after her teaching years are a testament to her “career story”.  Elaine obviously taught her students to write with sincerity–it shows in these letters. Elaine’s extraordinary ways of connecting will always be inspiring.  Her student community is vast with ripples upon ripples–children of former students now reaping the benefits of life lessons which now flow to grandchildren.

When Elaine’s health dictated a move to Life Care, she made it her home and masterfully added more ripples to her community.  Her interest and care in others pulled people in as she inquired and astutely listened to responses. Sharing laughs has always driven Elaine. Dr. Thursby mentioned how much Elaine enjoyed happiness and laughter and would want to be remembered that way.

Elaine’s crochet legacy is far reaching whether in lovingly bestowed afghans, scarves or baby blankets; her communities of family, friends, caring team members from every department at her home at Life Care, as well as her transport teams have all reaped the warming benefit of her speedy and easy flowing crochet ability–Elaine’s way of wrapping people in love.  There’s not much Elaine loved more than giving gifts–Mad Libs a favorite to all her beloved nieces and nephews and Godchildren.  Her love of giggles and laughter was a gift to us all. Books given shared her love of reading.  Elaine loved sharing in joy! The ripples keep multiplying.

The medical staff she encountered through her journey embraced her and felt her warmth–even though not pleased to be at the medical offices, hospitals or dialysis.  She was always grateful and easily expressed it.

As Salutatorian of the North High Class of 1969, Elaine spoke of tolerance.

She embodied that word as well as resilience–she never allowed her enjoyment of people to be taken away no matter what she was dealing with. Asked by her care team at Brigham to describe Elaine–the heartfelt and deserved words of kindest, most caring flowed out with true conviction.  Elaine’s ability to get conversations and laughter rolling was a work of art.  It was brought up that a room of strangers with Elaine in it would no longer be quiet as she would find a way to form this conversant community.

Elaine recently had mentioned that her favorite book was Of Mice and Men–quizzing her, she had said it was the theme of compassion that made it so.

We–Mickey, Jean, Katy, Carla, Bruno, Jack, Vivian, Jimmy, Ginny, Kerry, Kerry Jr., Kailey, Steven, John, Kelly, Jared, Josh and Kaitlyn–Elaine’s first community, are so very grateful to Elaine for her unwavering love and support and to each and every ripple community she added to her life–she did it with the joy and appreciation of a child picking dandelions.  It is with that same joy and ease she welcomed the overflowing number of Godchildren and all those that lovingly called her “Auntie”.

Elaine lived a life immersed in love–given and received, boundless friendship, caring, compassion, interest, tolerance, resilience, acceptance and faith in many things–kindness being utmost. Elaine leaves a complete legacy–surrounded and embraced by all those ripples creating one endless community whom she would want to remember her with happiness.

As Elaine’s primary concern was care and love of her collective community, we, knowing the turnout would be more immense than we can even imagine, feel she would want a Celebration of Her Life held in the safest of ways. With her in our hearts now and always, we intend to honor her on her birthday Sunday May 8, 2022…time and place to be determined where we will commune with love, laughter and wonderful stories.  In the meantime, please sing, read poems, and share happy stories creating more ripples.

Elaine’s wish in lieu of flowers was for donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude’s Place, Memphis, TN  38105

 

  • Comment (21)
  • Elaine was one of my best friends at NAHS. We were on the yearbook staff with Cindy Riley and others and she made the time go quickly with her great wit and fun-loving personality. I picked many of the Quotes for our classmates, but Elaine made sure she picked mine so I couldn’t “stack the deck”. We were also on Student Council and had English classes together. After NAHS I visited Elaine and Cindy at Wheaton and after moving to CA would see her on NY /Boston business trips. The last one was a few years ago and we bent the rules a little so I could visit her during a dialysis session.  We also traded Christmas cards through the years and I was well aware of her reputation as a well-loved teacher. Elaine was one of the kindest, smartest classmates we had–with a sometimes wickedly-sarcastic humor. Her success can be measured by an outstanding career of service to others and by the number of friends and admirers she had over the too-short life she lived. God Bless Elaine.

  • Yes, Kristin, the Humanities Department at North in the 80’s was “incomparable,” … 

    The late Vinny Baldasaro, a close friend of Elaine, was the Dean of the Humanities Department in the 80’s,, self-appointed, and curmudgeon-in-chief. … I take no risk in saying that Elaine was its soul. 

    It would be impossible to put together again a group of teachers more competent, more passionate, more dedicated to their calling than they. … And I place Elaine at the head of the Class.

    “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

  • The English department at North Attleboro High School in the 1980s was incomparable, and Ms. Bedard was one of the department’s best teachers. She was encouraging, kind, and pushed us to be intellectually curious, question authority, and think critically. And she was daring — we studied Sam Shepard plays even though they were ‘banned’ from the NAHS curriculum. Her class was challenging, and also very fun. (I would love to see what she would’ve put on her syllabus today.) I was lucky to have her as a teacher.

  • Ms Bedard , as you will always be Ms Bedard to me, thank you for letting this rough and tumble punk rock kid , use punk rock lyrics in my spoken poetry assignment, it meant more than I would have ever let on. Thirty years later , I let my students have choice in what they use to express themselves.

  • The “anonymous” Friday note cards in her Creative Writing class were the highlight of my week, every single week. Elaine taught me English, trained me to think critically, encouraged me to create, and gifted me with her friendship. I’ll always and forever remember her with affection and gratitude. 

  • She was THE teacher….the one that left a mark on your heart.   The one that you could look back on your high school career and know that you were blessed to have been in her ripple effect.  She extended her kindness and grace to her students.   Thank you for this beautiful tribute.   She will always be my favorite teacher.  

  • To the entire Bedard family and friends, my thoughts prayers and love are with all of you at this most difficult time.  Elaine was a treasure and has left her footprint in so many hearts.  She will be sadly missed. A job well done!  God Bless!

  • Truly one of the nicest people I have ever met.  I also had the opportunity to have Elaine as a literature teacher as well.  This tired out to be one of my favorite classes!  God Bless her family at this difficult time! ?❤️?

  • To this day I remember and cherish the world of books Ms. Bedard brought into my life. My love of reading that continues to be very much a part of my life I received from her. I have thought about her often throughout the years. She will be greatly missed.

  • Beautiful! Auntie gave us so much love and laughs. She had the best lap to sit on and the best stories to tell. 
    I will love Auntie forever and am thankful for her being such a big part of who I am. I hope to be there in May to celebrate her loving life. With Love, Dorothy

  • Oh Elaine, come out oh please come out…we must have sang this song dozens of times thanks to our shared humor of the Three Stooges.  Elaine’s ability to get the best out of you and have you feel special was amazing.  Wether it was stopping by her classroom while she was teaching or over her house just to check in, Elaine always made time for me – asked how I was doing and how my girls were.  She was so easy to talk with and we always laughed together about most everything.  I will truly miss her humor, kindness, thoughtfulness, stories…just HER.  RIP – you were the best 🙂  

  • Miss Bedard,
    I’ll always remember your warm smile and laugh. You were one of my favorite teachers. I’m sure you, my mother, and Mary Clark are having a blast hanging out together again. 

  • I remember with joy my time spent with Elaine in high school.  Rest in Peace My Friend.
    Ginny, I am so sorry for your loss and trust your wonderful memories will comfort you.  

  • Dear Elaine, we all will miss you so much! I am extra glad (Is that possible?) that your afghans warm my house and heart! You fought valiantly and your rest now is well-earned. Rest in peace, my Friend.

  •  Miss you my buddy. Adien and justin loved you.great godmother we had some great times. ♥️♥️♥️♥️

  • This is the most moving memorial we have ever read. It describes Elaine to a t! A legacy and a friend never to be forgotten. She enriched our lives like no other. Miss you my friend and roomie!

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21 Responses

  1. This is the most moving memorial we have ever read. It describes Elaine to a t! A legacy and a friend never to be forgotten. She enriched our lives like no other. Miss you my friend and roomie!

  2.  Miss you my buddy. Adien and justin loved you.great godmother we had some great times. ♥️♥️♥️♥️

  3. Dear Elaine, we all will miss you so much! I am extra glad (Is that possible?) that your afghans warm my house and heart! You fought valiantly and your rest now is well-earned. Rest in peace, my Friend.

  4. I remember with joy my time spent with Elaine in high school.  Rest in Peace My Friend.
    Ginny, I am so sorry for your loss and trust your wonderful memories will comfort you.  

  5. Miss Bedard,
    I’ll always remember your warm smile and laugh. You were one of my favorite teachers. I’m sure you, my mother, and Mary Clark are having a blast hanging out together again. 

  6. Oh Elaine, come out oh please come out…we must have sang this song dozens of times thanks to our shared humor of the Three Stooges.  Elaine’s ability to get the best out of you and have you feel special was amazing.  Wether it was stopping by her classroom while she was teaching or over her house just to check in, Elaine always made time for me – asked how I was doing and how my girls were.  She was so easy to talk with and we always laughed together about most everything.  I will truly miss her humor, kindness, thoughtfulness, stories…just HER.  RIP – you were the best 🙂  

  7. Beautiful! Auntie gave us so much love and laughs. She had the best lap to sit on and the best stories to tell. 
    I will love Auntie forever and am thankful for her being such a big part of who I am. I hope to be there in May to celebrate her loving life. With Love, Dorothy

  8. To this day I remember and cherish the world of books Ms. Bedard brought into my life. My love of reading that continues to be very much a part of my life I received from her. I have thought about her often throughout the years. She will be greatly missed.

  9. Truly one of the nicest people I have ever met.  I also had the opportunity to have Elaine as a literature teacher as well.  This tired out to be one of my favorite classes!  God Bless her family at this difficult time! ?❤️?

  10. To the entire Bedard family and friends, my thoughts prayers and love are with all of you at this most difficult time.  Elaine was a treasure and has left her footprint in so many hearts.  She will be sadly missed. A job well done!  God Bless!

  11. She was THE teacher….the one that left a mark on your heart.   The one that you could look back on your high school career and know that you were blessed to have been in her ripple effect.  She extended her kindness and grace to her students.   Thank you for this beautiful tribute.   She will always be my favorite teacher.  

  12. The “anonymous” Friday note cards in her Creative Writing class were the highlight of my week, every single week. Elaine taught me English, trained me to think critically, encouraged me to create, and gifted me with her friendship. I’ll always and forever remember her with affection and gratitude. 

  13. Ms Bedard , as you will always be Ms Bedard to me, thank you for letting this rough and tumble punk rock kid , use punk rock lyrics in my spoken poetry assignment, it meant more than I would have ever let on. Thirty years later , I let my students have choice in what they use to express themselves.

  14. The English department at North Attleboro High School in the 1980s was incomparable, and Ms. Bedard was one of the department’s best teachers. She was encouraging, kind, and pushed us to be intellectually curious, question authority, and think critically. And she was daring — we studied Sam Shepard plays even though they were ‘banned’ from the NAHS curriculum. Her class was challenging, and also very fun. (I would love to see what she would’ve put on her syllabus today.) I was lucky to have her as a teacher.

  15. Yes, Kristin, the Humanities Department at North in the 80’s was “incomparable,” … 

    The late Vinny Baldasaro, a close friend of Elaine, was the Dean of the Humanities Department in the 80’s,, self-appointed, and curmudgeon-in-chief. … I take no risk in saying that Elaine was its soul. 

    It would be impossible to put together again a group of teachers more competent, more passionate, more dedicated to their calling than they. … And I place Elaine at the head of the Class.

    “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

  16. Elaine was one of my best friends at NAHS. We were on the yearbook staff with Cindy Riley and others and she made the time go quickly with her great wit and fun-loving personality. I picked many of the Quotes for our classmates, but Elaine made sure she picked mine so I couldn’t “stack the deck”. We were also on Student Council and had English classes together. After NAHS I visited Elaine and Cindy at Wheaton and after moving to CA would see her on NY /Boston business trips. The last one was a few years ago and we bent the rules a little so I could visit her during a dialysis session.  We also traded Christmas cards through the years and I was well aware of her reputation as a well-loved teacher. Elaine was one of the kindest, smartest classmates we had–with a sometimes wickedly-sarcastic humor. Her success can be measured by an outstanding career of service to others and by the number of friends and admirers she had over the too-short life she lived. God Bless Elaine.

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