Gregory J. Bernard, 63: A great friend to all

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BRUNSWICK — Gregory J. Bernard, 63, of Brunswick, died July 25 at Maine Medical Center in Portland after a brief illness.

He was born in Rumford on Sept. 24, 1949, the son of Eugene and Clarice Hutchinson Bernard.

He graduated from Stephens High School in Rumford in 1968, and from Eastern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in 1976. In 1982, he completed training at the Bath Iron Works shipfitting apprenticeship program.

That year, Bernard moved to Auburn and commuted to BIW, where he worked as a marine draftsman until 2006, when a car accident left him a quadriplegic. He spent several months at Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Boston before moving to Brunswick to be closer to family.

An avid ballroom dancer before the accident, Bernard subsequently took on new goals and activities. He spent hours on his computer and telephone trying to accomplish his goal of contacting all his past friends.

His mother predeceased him.

He is survived by his father, of Topsham; his brother, Timothy Bernard, of Tennessee; his sister, Deborah, and her husband Donald Siviski, of Wiscasset; two nieces, Jodi Siviski, of Greenland, N.H., and Kari Siviski Economou and her husband Aaron, of Kittery; a nephew, Nicholas Siviski and his wife, Lauren, of Portland; and five great-nieces and one great-nephew, Kaitlyn, Maggie, Adeline, Violet and Decker.

He was a great friend to all who knew him and will be deeply missed.

A celebration of life will be held at Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal St., Brunswick, on Thursday, Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, online at

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