Bernice Traino-McClelland, 78, of North Syracuse, NY, the daughter of the late Joseph and Rose (Bartoli) Murman, died of Covid-19 while living in a nursing home with advanced dementia. She was born in Pittston, PA, grew up in Syracuse, and lived for seven years by the beach in Fairfield, CT, before returning to Syracuse.
Bernice was the broker/owner of Hoam Real Estate, and dedicated thirty years of her life ensuring that first time buyers got to fulfill their dream of owning their own home. She was a real estate and finance genius. Bernice was selfless and giving, often going without to ensure that others had what they needed. As a child of only 2 years old, she was on the radio in Pittston, PA, singing songs on a radio show. While her father served on a battleship during World War II, recordings of Bernice singing Bell Bottom Trousers would play over their PA system. She kept singing, even when she lived in the nursing home. Her voice, which was that of an angel, would bring joy to the residents and staff. When she first arrived at the nursing home with dementia, she believed she was a volunteer and went out of her way to make the new residents feel safe, welcomed and loved. Many a time her daughter was told that without Bernice, a frightened new resident would not have adjusted so well and so quickly. She would caress their cheeks as they cried and say, “what’s the matter, baby? Don’t be afraid. I’m here and I will take care of you. I love you.” That’s the kind of person Bernice was. She loved everyone she met and made everyone feel special and cherished. She was fun, outrageous, gregarious and loving. Being in her presence was always an adventure and a guaranteed laugh. Her eyes would twinkle and her nose would wrinkle when she would giggle in delight, which was so often. She was also an incredible Italian cook and was well known for her homemade meatballs and sauce, raviolis, chicken riggies, buttered shells, pasta cabbouch, and all of her delicious soups. Everyone was welcome at her table, cooking was her passion, and feeding people made her happy. She also was an incredible gardener, growing tomato and basil plants the size of small trees.
Bernice loved her family more than words can express. She is survived by her daughters, Deborah Spier and Catherine (Wade) Mackey and her son, Michael Podejko. She is pre-deceased by her sons, Robert Podejko and John Traino. She is survived by her brother, Joseph (Jo) Murman and her sister, Susan (William) Hudanich, as well as her grandchildren, Trisha (Blake) Bowman, Amanda (Dominic) Darcangelo, Adam, Austin and Aiden Mackey, her great-granddaughter due next month, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Contributions in Bernice’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
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