May 22,1925 - July 25, 2020.
Giulio Bernero wore many hats throughout his long life, but the one he wore best was provider and protector of his family. Hailing from the mountains of northern Italy (Temossi), one of seven children born to Fortunato and Vittoria Bernero, Giulio earned his place as one of the Greatest Generation when he refused conscription into Mussolini's Army during WWII and instead joined the Partisans in the Italian Liberation War, fighting and helping to defeat the Axis powers.
In 1951, seeking new opportunity, Giulio bravely set out for America with little more than the clothes on his back. Leaving the only family he knew, he boarded the SS Conte Biancamano and set sail for the American Dream.
Armed with a terrific work ethic and faith in God, this former church-bell ringer found a wife - Virginia Felice - the daughter of southern Italian immigrants - who shared his dream and soon they were rearing five children (Victoria, Valentina, Victor, Vince and Virgil) in Pontiac.
Virginia (1934-2008) was as boisterous as Giulio was reserved. The Bernero household was never dull and always filled with love - and great Italian food! Giulio was a produce man, operating Bernero Produce for many years before going to work for General Motors in the early 70s. Upon his retirement from GM, Giulio went back to work at Felice's Market, where he greeted customers warmly in the produce aisle. At both GM and Felice's, Giulio earned awards for 100 percent attendance year after year. He honored his heritage and tantalized taste buds for many years with his homemade "Dago-red" wine, produced with the backyard winepress and plenty of paisans.
Giulio Bernero was a man of few words but his actions and example of a life well-lived speak volumes. He showed up. He took responsibility. He worked hard - everyday. He loved his wife and children. He planted a garden. He went to church. He never stopped looking out for his family. He never stopped smiling and being kind to others. And in the process he was a quiet hero to many.
Mr. Bernero will lie in state at St Benedict Catholic Church, Waterford, Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 10:00 a.m. until time of the Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Rev. James Mayworm celebrant. Interment to follow at Mt. Hope Catholic Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Donelson, Johns and Evans Funeral Home, Waterford, Monday 1-3 and 5-7 p.m. Rosary Monday 6:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in memory of Giulio Bernero to St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lansing (mail to: 1020 S. Washington Ave., Lansing, MI 48910) or donations to St. Benedict Catholic Church in Pontiac (80 S. Lynn St., Waterford, MI 48328). To send a private condolence to the family visit www.donelsonjohnsevans.com.
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