Beloved mother, grandmother and friend Judith Grace Robinson Berce, 84, died peacefully on January 4, 2021, at her son Peter’s home in Portland surrounded by loved ones. Judy brought a light and laughter to the world that will be sorely missed by all who knew her. Judy loved spending time with her family and friends and gathering together with them for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations. Going for rides in the car near the ocean, traveling, enjoying ice cream, singing Irish songs that her grandfather taught her and reminiscing were some of her favorite activities. Judy also enjoyed knitting, crafts, camping, walking, singing and listening to music.
Judy was born August 29, 1936, in Cambridge, Mass., to her parents Ruth and Gorham Robinson. She moved to Maine with her family when she was seven years old and grew up in Bangor during World War II, graduating from John Bapst High School in 1954. Judy studied nursing at Mercy Hospital’s School of Nursing from 1954 to 1957 and as part of her training worked in hospitals in the Washington D.C. area. While in Washington D.C., she attended President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1957 Inaugural Ball, an event that she would later remember with great fondness. Judy met her future husband, Hudson “Bob” Berce, on a blind date arranged by her best friend, Sylvia Perry Fecteau, and married Bob in August of 1957. Judy loved Bob dearly and together they had many adventures, including having and raising four children and camping across New England and Canada.
After the birth of son Peter in 1969, Judy retired from nursing and became a stay at home mom, which she loved. Judy and Bob lived for 23 years together in Presque Isle, where they raised their family and enjoyed the people and beauty of Aroostook County. Following Bob’s retirement, Judy and Bob moved to Bangor, where they enjoyed condo living and frequent day trips to Belfast and Schoodic Point. Judy was heartbroken when Bob passed away from cancer in 2000. After Bob’s death, she moved to Portland to be closer to her children, bringing her much-loved rescue cat, Sophie, with her.
Judy is survived by her son Andrew Berce of Florence, S.C.; son John Berce and his wife Donna Berce of Auburn; son Peter Berce and his wife Mary Berce of Portland; and daughter Catherine Berce of Portland. Judy loved talking to and spending time with her grandchildren: Sam Berce of Nashville, Tenn.; Sean Berce of Nashville, Tenn.; Frank Berce of Montreal; and Chloe Ann Berce of Montreal. Judy was pre-deceased by her brothers Peter Robinson and Bill Robinson.
A memorial mass will be held for Judy at St. John’s Catholic Church on York St. in Bangor sometime in the spring of 2021. Judy will be buried next to beloved husband Bob at the Maine Veterans’ Cemetery in Augusta. Gifts in Judy’s memory may be donated to Gosnell Memorial House in Scarborough: c/o Hospice of Southern Maine, 390 US Rte One, Scarborough, ME 04074; (866) 621-7600; https://www.hospiceofsouthernmaine.org/gosnell-memorial-hospice-house.
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