BANGOR - Bernice "Bunny" Marie Hardin Gendreau, professionally known as "Bunny Dunn", passed away on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, after a five year challenge with cancer. Bunny was born on October 11, 1934, in Danforth, the daughter of Leah Gould Hardin and Henry Hardin.
She grew up in the Hampden and Winterport area with many fond memories of her childhood schools and friends.
Bunny worked at Bangor Mental Health for 23 years where patients could count on her for compassion and care. Bunny then went on to graduate from Eastern Maine Medical Center School of Nursing in May of 1975 as a Registered Nurse. For the next 20 years, she worked the job she loved so much; tending the mothers through Labor and Delivery at EMMC, where doctors also lovingly referred to her as "The Rabbit" for her keen sense of timing. Her severe arthritis caused her to be disabled at the age of 61. She continued her close friendships with her fellow nurses as they retired and formed the "Old Fart's Club", who met often for lunch.
On top of a very demanding and busy work schedule, Bunny always had time for her big, blended family. She would pull out all the stops, and fix giant holiday meals; making sure everyone at the table saw his or her favorite food. She made the best fruit breads in the whole world.
She married her sweetheart and best friend, Leo Gendreau, who added a wonderful spark to her life when she wasn't looking. They enjoyed 13 years of marriage before he passed away on October 21, 2009. Leo and Bunny liked taking road trips throughout the United States together.
Bunny was the eldest of 6 children, her brother, Wilfred "Red" Crossman, wife Marjorie, and 4 sisters; Francis McLaughlin, Judith Dahl, Valerie McMillan, and Cheryl Vigneault; her three sisters by marriage, Rena Cyr of CT, Omerine Clavette, husband Clifford of CT, and Joan Gendreau.
Bunny was preceded in death by her grandsons, Joshua Arasate Doucette and Leo St. Germain; her daughter by marriage, Gail Googins; her sister, Francis "Fran" McLaughlin, and husband, Bob; brother-in-law, Leroy McMillin; sister, Judith "Judy" Dahl, and late husband; and good friend, S. Andrew Dunn I.
She is survived by her children, Audrey Wilson, husband John of FL, Lee Shirland, husband Tom of NC; Janet Doucette, husband Fran Arasate Doucette of Old Town; John Dunn and Shelly Philbrick of VA; and daughter-in-law, Melissa Dunn of HI; her daughter by heart, Barbara Joyce, husband Phillip; her children by marriage, Andrea Dunn Dodd, husband Mike of AK; Leo Gendreau II, Katherine Gallimore, husband Chris of Panama; Rolland Gendreau, wife Kelly; her grandchildren, Angela Curtis, Mary Sanborn of NH, Amanda Brehm, Tom Shirland Jr. of AL, Christopher Shirland, Cheryl Greer of NC, Jillian Dupuis, Kristie Clement, Scott Dunn II of HI, Kristina Lombas of LA, Brent St. Germain of AK, Christine Jones of UT, Heather Gendreau, Curtis Martinez, Dana Tucker of NH, Grant Gallimore of TN, Nathan and Noah Gendreau. She was proud of and loved her many great-grandchildren as well.
Relatives and friends are welcome to call 1-3 p.m., Sunday, February 16, 2020, at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center Street, Bangor, where a funeral service will be held 3 p.m., with Pastor Steve Nute officiating. All are welcome to share conversation and refreshments at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center Street, Bangor, immediately following the service, Sunday. Interment will be at 10 a.m., Monday, February 17, 2020, in Mount Pleasant Catholic Cemetery, Ohio Street, Bangor.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Northern Light Health, EMMC Neonatal ICU, 489 State St., Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com