It is with loving memory that we announce the passing of our beloved Mrs. Bernice Marilyn Goodwin, who passed Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in the city of Sunrise, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Bernice was born Bernice Marilyn Pickering on December 13, 1946, to Valdemar Pickering and Elma Knowles Pickering in St. Thomas. Bernice was the oldest of six children. Preceding her in death, in order, were her mother, Elma Pickering, followed by brothers, Bernard and Alvis Pickering; sister, Linda Bryant; father, Valdemar; and more recently, her sister, Phyllis Pickering.
Bernice resided on the hill of Skyline Drive as a youth, primarily walking to get around to school, the grocery and extended family visits. She graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School in the Class of 1964. She then attended the University of the Virgin Islands, where she met her future husband and the love of her life, George Goodwin, whom she married in September of 1966. They resided in Estate Thomas for eight years before moving to their own home in Anna’s Retreat.
Bernice graduated in 1968 with a bachelor’s in education from UVI, after a two- year education major program collaboration at New York University in New York City. Bernice then embarked on a 30-year career as a teacher and educator, serving primarily at Lockhart Elementary School in Charlotte Amalie. She also spent a few years as acting principal. She enjoyed reading, stabs at crocheting, tutoring children, spending time with family and mild forms of exercise. Bernice also found comfort and solace in studying with and eventually becoming a Jehovah’s Witness by baptism in 1976. A mild-tempered woman, Bernice valued education, family, “walking softly but carrying a big stick”, her faith in God, and connecting with her students, often maintaining relationships with many, long after they were no longer her students.
Bernice could be long-suffering, moral, sacrificing of herself for the benefit of others, giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, tremendously perceptive of others’ nature and their needs. She also was at times secretive, sneaky, yet possessed a sharp wit and fondness for wry humor. She believed in overcoming long odds, that all people deserved second and even third chances, and in doing everything in moderation. Bernice could be quite a contrarian in nature, for instance, never sought attention for herself ever, but was quite radiant and thoroughly enjoyed all the attention she got.
Bernice is survived by her husband of 53 years, George Goodwin; her children and stepchildren, Gregory, Maureen, Bernard, Neal, Alec and Judith; a sister, Sophrona Pickering; aunt, Charlotte Pickering; her nieces and nephews, Kalen Bryant, Luanna Bryant, Rene Bryant, Lansbree David; grandchildren, Asante Richards, Victoria Goodwin, Jared Goodwin, Alston Goodwin, Elijah Goodwin, Gabriella Goodwin, Marco Goodwin; and many friends and cousins too numerous to mention, including Edward and Leon Pickering, Wilbert Lindesay, Cheryl Shulterbrandt Plaskett, Bernard Francis, Sonny Knowles, Ida Louise O’Neal, and Roy Watlington.
Other relatives include the Audain, Brady, Labeet, Lanclos, Lans, Lindesay, Maduro, Ottley, O’Neal, Phaire, Spencely, Pickering and Watlington families, spanning the Caribbean islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Antigua, Aruba, and Santo Domingo.
The memorial service for Bernice Goodwin will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Lower John Dunkoe, St. Thomas, USVI. Elder Noel Lewis will preside over the ceremony.