Odessa Bernardo (or Dutka, nee Peressini) passed away on Tuesday, December 9, 2008, at the age of 86 years. Odessa, a resident of Cedar, BC, died quietly at the NRGH Palliative Care Unit, surrounded by her family, concluding a difficult struggle with heart failure.

Odessa was born in Blairmore, Alberta on June 25, 1922 to Giacomo Peressini and Teresa Avoledo, both from Valvasone, Italy. Odessa moved to Italy with her family in 1927 and returned to Canada in 1936, where she lived in Blairmore, Alberta, then Dawson Creek, B.C. before settling in the Nanaimo area in 1965.

Odessa is survived by her son, Richard Dutka, and his wife Sally, of Cedar, B.C.; by her daughter Sandy McPherson and husband Jim of Tucson, Arizona; by her grandchildren, Stephen Robinson, Brooke Dutka, and Maiggen Dutka, all of Vancouver, B.C.; Kyle Dutka and his wife Nikki, of Ladysmith, B.C., and Andy Brown, of Nanaimo, B.C. She is also survived by her great grandchildren Heather and Colby; she will be especially missed by her great-grandaughter Odessa Teresa, who knew her as “Nona”. Odessa will also be remembered by her younger brother Albino “Nini” Peressini, of Blairmore, Alberta, her sister Clevia Szoo of Fort Saint John, B.C., and other family and friends.

She was predeceased by her daughter, Kay Brown (nee Bernardo), who died suddenly in May 1985, and her older brother Eliseo Peressini, who passed away in July 2000.

The family wishes to thank the staff at the NRGH Palliative Care Unit for their support and care during Odessa’s last few day. A private memorial service will be held at a future date. Donations to the memory of Odessa may be made to the Salvation Army. She was stubborn in life, and stubborn in death.

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