May 10, 2023 at 3:14 p.m.
Bernadette “Bernie” (Toenies) Fairchild, 94, of Sauk Centre and formerly of Edina, passed away peacefully May 2, 2023, at Fairway Pines Senior Living in Sauk Centre.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, May 11, at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Sauk Centre with the Rev. Greg Paffel officiating. Inurnment will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be 9:30 to 11 a.m., May 11, at the church in Sauk Centre.
Bernadette Theresa Toenies was born March 10, 1929, in Albany, Minnesota, to Joseph and Katherine (Bueckers) Toenies. Bernadette was born with a strong work ethic and was blessed with intelligence and determination. At the age of 13, Bernadette’s father urged her to stop her schooling to become a nanny, and she was employed in St. Cloud and Minneapolis. Determined to finish her schooling, at the age of 16, Bernadette moved to Melrose and enrolled at the Melrose school, where she completed her education, graduating with honors. While furthering her schooling, Bernadette lived and worked at the Melrose Hospital where she met Dr. DuBois who was instrumental in Bernadette’s decision to pursue a career in nursing. After high school, Bernadette earned a registered nursing degree from the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in St Paul, again graduating with honors.
Bernadette began her nursing career at St. Mary’s Hospital, where she met Dr. Mark Kim, the chief of anesthesia, whom she married in May of 1953 and began building a family of five children. Bernadette later returned to nursing at Fairview Hospital, (now M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital) where she worked nights in intensive care for 16 years. Her reputation resulted in frequent assignments to care for the most complex and medically demanding patients on her floor. ln 1974, she married Robert Fairchild and continued living in Edina until 1986, when she retired to Post Falls, ldaho.
While living in Post Falls, Bernadette developed a passion for quilting. Using the quilt tops she designed and sewed, her church group, St. George Quilts, created over 1,000 quilts that were donated to charities and underprivileged people in the United States and abroad. She returned to Minnesota in 2015 to live in Sauk Centre, spending many hours with a book or word puzzles.
Survivors include her three daughters and one son; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters, Sister Colette Toenies, OSF, of Little Falls, Donald (Virginia) Toenies of Sauk Centre, JoAnn (Bernard) Deters of Osakis, Ralph (Sharon) Toenies of Mora, Harvey (Betty) Toenies of Mora, and David (Shirley)Toenies of Mesa Arizona.
Bernadette was preceded in death by her parents; husband Robert Fairchild; daughter Dr. Deborah M. Kim; brothers and sisters-in-law Alphonse (Anne) and Jerome (Rita); sisters and brothers-in-law Pauline (Ervin) Schmiesing, Celine (Claude) Zabinski and Jean Toenies; and infant brother John Toenies.
Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral and Cremation Services, of Sauk Centre.