Bernis Margaret Hanlon, a resident of Saugus, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the age of 91 surrounded by her loving spouse, Patricia Scanlon and loving step son, Sean Scanlon.
Born in Lynn, Massachusetts on January 14, 1926, she is survived by her partner and life-long friend of 31 years, Patricia, as well as her extended step family - Sean, Lori and Alexa Scanlon of Brighton; Arlene and Edmund Vargus of Seabrook, NH; Joseph and Robyne Recca of Stoughton; and many step nieces and nephews who loved her very much. She is also survived by her brother, Kevin Hanlon of Saugus, and her nieces and nephews Karen, Christopher and Paul Hanlon.
Bernis was a graduate of Emmanuel College (Class of 1948) and spent many years as a teacher. She had a tremendous influence on countless students as a Saugus High School teacher, where she taught Advanced Placement English for nearly 35 years. She later went on to teach adults in Literature at North Shore Community College, where she met Patricia. Earlier in her life prior to teaching, Bernis spent a brief period as a nun with the Carmelite Order.
A true intellect and woman of talent, Bernis held numerous Masters Degrees, including one in Theology from the Andover Newton Theological School, and taught herself to speak Latin, Spanish and Italian. She loved reading and writing poetry, playing the piano, dancing, skiing, and listening to opera and classical music, particularly at Boston Symphony Hall. An art aficionado, Bernis was also a member of the Museum of Fine Arts. Bernis held a special place in her heart for her beloved pets, including her three dogs (BB, Lucy and Ricky), four parrots and parakeet. Although she wasn't interested in being a fashionista, Bernis would never consider leaving the house without wearing her lipstick.
Bernis was a strong and spirited woman who was admired and respected by all for her thoughtful counsel, loving companionship and great influence. In the words of Henry Adams, "A teacher never knows where her influence ends, she touches eternity." Bernis will be missed, but always lovingly remembered and will always remain in our hearts.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11am on Saturday (5/20) at the Bisbee Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Avenue, Saugus, MA 01906. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Bernis to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty St, Danvers MA 01923.