It is with a heavy heart that the family announces the passing of Bernadette Bridget “Bernie” Mallon Gilligan, 76, on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
She leaves behind the love of her life, Oliver Gilligan, and the children she held in her heart wherever she went, Martin, Francis, Erin, Kevin, Sean and Patrick. She was the mother-in-law to Aaron, Kathryn, Mark, Jeri, Lara and Malea; grandmother to Francis (m. Colleen), Briana (deceased; m. David), Jessica, Timothy, Christopher, Amanda, Aidan, Mackenzie, Zoe, Ian, Cade, Mallon, Rylan, Harrison and Kennedy; great-grandmother to Charlotte, Ailish, and Francis; daughter to Francis Joseph Mallon (deceased) and Mary (O’Brien) Mallon (deceased). She was also preceded in death by her siblings, John, Mary and Francis.
Born in Detroit, Mich., on March 7, 1941, Bernadette met her one true love, Oliver Gilligan, and moved to New York, N.Y., soon after they married in 1963. There they raised six children together, and there was no greater honor for her than to be known as a devoted wife and loving mother to her family. It was an honor she not only extended to her immediate family, but to the extended family as their beloved “Auntie Bernie,” and to her children’s friends as the ever welcoming “Mrs. G.” Secretary, building superintendent, and bus driver were just a few of the titles she held, but CEO of the fun-loving Gilligan Clan was her true calling.
A friend to all, she never met a stranger, and she often had people believing they had been lifelong friends within minutes of lending a compassionate ear for their story or a helping hand to the efforts. From supporting Saint Mark’s Catholic Church, to the Wilmington Senior Center, to the Wilmington Railroad Museum, to the Columbiettes, to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Bernie would readily jump into any cause and make a positive difference. She truly will be missed by all who knew her, and leaves an unfillable void behind her.
A wake will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 7, at Andrews Mortuary, 1617 Market St. Church services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 1011 Eastwood Drive. Both locations are in Wilmington.