Bernice (Ellis) Packard
April 5, 1928 - November 26, 2020
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Bernice (Ellis) Packard, 92, a long-time Littleton, MA, resident, passed away peacefully on November 26, 2020, in Groton, MA.
Bernice was born on April 5, 1928, in Mt. Holly, VT, the eldest child of the late Agnes (Johnson) Ellis. She spent her younger years in Belmont, VT, before calling Littleton "home" during her teenage years, where she attended Littleton High School.
In 1948, Bernice met her future husband, Richard, at a square dance at the Seamen's Club in Boston, where she was working as a private duty LPN after completing nursing school. They were married on February 12, 1949, at the Unitarian Church in Littleton and began their married life in Lewiston, ME, while Richard attended Bates College. After the birth of their first two children, Bernice and Richard moved to Massachusetts and then to Maryland. In 1966, Bernice returned to Littleton with her family, where she lived for the next fifty-two years.
Bernice's greatest joy in life was spending time interacting with children and young adults, whether it was her own or those of neighbors, or those participating in organized activities. In the latter case, Bernice was involved for many years, both in Maryland and Massachusetts, as a Girl Scout Troop Leader. Over the years she brought many young people under her wing, giving them encouragement, an ear for listening, or just a smile and a hug.
Another joy was quilting, to which Bernice devoted considerable talent, skill, and energy for most of her adult life. She participated in numerous quilting events, but from her family's perspective, is best known for providing many beautifully handcrafted masterpieces that will warm bodies and souls for decades to come.
When she wasn't quilting, Bernice could be found engaged in birdwatching, beekeeping, or tending her numerous thriving flower beds. She could name a bird by its song, or the flowers visited by her bees based on how the honey tasted, or specify the proper soil conditions for an innumerable array of plants.
Although Bernice cherished her family and home, she delighted in seeing other places. In the early 1980s, she immensely enjoyed living in California for a year and then Alaska for six months when Richard was sent there for work. In addition to living and traveling around the United States, Bernice also visited abroad, her favorite trip being to England.
Bernice is survived by three children: Richard F. Packard, Jr., of Fort Plain, NY; Irene P. Coyle and her husband, Harold P. Coyle, Jr., of Ayer, MA; and Holly P. Bell and her husband, Samuel D. Bell, of Littleton, MA; seven grandchildren: Richard F. Packard, III, and his wife, Teresa, of Leominster, MA; Amber Marie Girard, of Cherry Valley, NY; Marjorie E. Bell and her husband, Richard Perry, of Woburn, MA; Jessica M. Packard and her wife, Kaitlen Adams, of Raleigh, NC; Carolyn P. Bell, of Watertown, MA; Brian A. Packard, of Chelmsford, MA; and Daniel C. Packard, of Lunenburg, MA; and four great-grandchildren: Skyler Girard, Kelsey Girard, Riley Packard, and Katelyn Packard. Bernice is further survived by a sister, Elsie Burton, of Pierson, FL. In addition to her parents, Bernice was predeceased by her husband, Richard F. Packard, Sr.; a son, Ashley B. Packard; and two brothers, George Ellis and Frank Ellis.
Funeral services for Bernice are private; she will be buried in the family plot at Westlawn Cemetery in Littleton, MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:
New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck St., Lowell, MA 01852
Mass Audubon, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln, MA 01773
Littleton Scholarship Trust, PO Box 693, Littleton, MA 01460