Bernadine Goldate Riley, 94 recently of Warren NJ, formerly of Chatham, NJ; Pennington, NJ; Avalon, NJ; Alexandria, VA,and W. Brandywine PA passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 12 at Brightview of Warren.
Bernadine was born on June 19,1927 in Philadelphia, PA. She was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Eugene and Sarah (nee Kelly) Goldate. She was the oldest of the four Goldate girls: Norma Buck, Eugenia Gilson and Rita Taylor, all of whom predeceased her. In 1945 she graduated from St. Hubert’s Catholic High School, Philadelphia, PA and remained an active alumna. Bernadine received her nursing training at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. She completed her time in the World War II Cadet Nursing Corps from 1945 to 1948.
She married Joseph J Riley on May 14, 1949; and they were married for over 70 wonderful years until he preceded her in death in 2020.
Bernadine spent most of her life as a devoted wife and mother of five. Most of her activities revolved around her family. The early years she was involved in the Mother’s Guild at St. Patrick’s School and the church organist at St. Patrick’s Church. She was involved with the Cub and Boy Scouts as a den mother and Blue and Gold dinner organizer. As a member of Minisink Swim and Tennis club, Bern volunteered with swim team meets; and it was there she developed her love for tennis and paddleball. She played actively until her late 70’s.
Bernadine was a sun lover and enjoyed family vacations in Wildwood, Nags Head NC and at the summer home in Avalon. These were all orchestrated and meticulously planned with family in mind. She was an avid reader, loved bowling and board games but most of all, the game of backgammon. Years of wonderful memories came from these activities.
She and her husband Joe placed importance on family gathering by hosting the yearly Christmas party. At Christmas she was famous for her butternut crunch candy in the most decorative boxes and cherry cheesecake. Her love of Christmas was very important to us and we will continue her traditions.
Bernadine is survived by her children: Joseph J. Riley, Jr. and wife Carol; Michael Riley and wife Terri; Maureen Bulger and husband Brian; Robert Riley and wife Mary; Beth Ann Griesser and husband Joseph and cherished grandmother of 16 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held from 4:00 to 8:00 pm Wednesday March 16th, at Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main Street, Chatham, NJ 07928. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at Corpus Christi Church, 234 Southern Blvd., Chatham, NJ 07928 at 10:00am Thursday, March 17th. An interment will follow at St. Teresa’s Cemetery, Summit, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Our Lady of the Rosary Church Attn: Fr. Brennan, 80 S.17th Ave., Coatesville, Pa. 19320, or the Freedom Village Scholarship Fund Attn: Ed Ferrari 218 Freedom Blvd. West Brandywine, Pa. 19320.