Bernadette J. Harrod, 77, Vietnam Veteran, Nurse, & Author

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FRAMINGHAM – Bernadette J. Harrod of Daytona Beach, FL (formally of Framingham) passed away on November 22 at the age of 77.  

She leaves her wife Kathleen A. (Logan) and their daughter Taylor.  

In Framingham, she leaves her loving son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Richelle, and her grandchildren, Andrew and Kirsten.  Bernadette was the daughter of the late Charles Sr. and Gertrude Todesca of Braintree, MA. 

Bernie graduated from Braintree High School in 1963 and completed her nursing program at the Faulkner School of Nursing.

Bernie received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Boston College, and a Masters degree in Critical Care Nursing from Boston University. 

At the young age of 24 she was inspired by President John F. Kennedy and volunteered her nursing skills to serve her country during the Vietnam War.  

Bernie joined the Army Nurse Corps and was stationed at the 22nd Surgical Hospital on the front lines in Phu Bai, Vietnam; a forward base camp in the demilitarized zone.  

She was so proud of her service to her country and was present for the much-delayed unveiling of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in 1993 in Washington, D.C.  

It took Bernadette close to 40 years to memorialize her story of what it was like to practice nursing in a combat zone. 

 In 2015 she published Fort Chastity, Vietnam, 1969.  In this book, she offers a firsthand look at the war and it’s aftereffects from the perspective of both a nurse and a woman caught in the trauma of war. 

Upon returning from Vietnam, Bernie served as a clinical care nurse in Cincinnati before settling down in the metro Boston area.  

She supervised nurses in several metro Boston hospitals before she transitioned to clinical nursing instruction.  Prior to her retirement, she taught at St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing.

Bernie was an accomplished artist. For many years her oil and watercolor paintings could be found for sale at local merchants in Orleans.  

Bernie was also an avid runner in her younger days, with her favorite race being Boston’s Bonne Bell 10K for Women.   

Besides her immediate family, she was the sister of Charles Todesca Jr., the late Maryann Connors, Grace Hill, and the late Thomas Todesca.  She was loved and will be missed by her nieces and nephews, Kathleen, Patrick, Anne, Pamala, Joshua, Alicia, Sidney, Jacob, Adam, and John. 

Family and friends will honor and remember Bernie’s life by celebrating her funeral mass on Wednesday, December 21 in St. Bridget Church, 830 Worcester Rd. Framingham at 10 o’clock. 

 Interment with military honors will follow in MA National Cemetery, Bourne at 1:15 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org.  This organization provides necessary resources and programs that assist veterans who come home from war with “invisible” wounds, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

To leave a memory with Bernie’s family, kindly visit www.mccarthyfh.com.


editor

email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176


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