Bernadette Tilton
Bernadette Tilton
Bernadette Tilton
Bernadette Tilton
Bernadette Tilton

Obituary of Bernadette Celene Tilton

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Bernadette Celene Roy Tilton Douglas

January 3, 1927 - May 20, 2023

On Saturday morning, May 20th our dear mother, Bernadette (Bernie) Celene Roy Tilton Douglas, at the age of 96 ½, passed away in the arms of her family after suffering several strokes in the last few years of her life. At the time of her death, she was living with daughter, Bonnie, and son-in-law, Robert, in her beloved rose cottage on the shores of Penobscot Bay in the lovely village of Stockton Springs, Maine.

Born on January 3rd, 1927, Bernadette was the 9th of 10 children born to her parents Rose Anna Clavette Roy and George Roy of Waterville, Maine. Raised and educated in Waterville, she graduated from Waterville High School at the age of 16 and immediately, during WWII joined the Nursing Cadet program becoming a registered nurse at the age of 18. She worked with doctors in private practice as well as at the Thayer Hospital, and later in life, at the Seton Hospital in the Maternity Ward caring for hundreds of newborns with over 20 years of service.

In 1947, she married veteran Merle Smiley Tilton, Sr. of Sidney, Maine and together they raised six children in the Waterville area. They were married for over 52 years when Merle passed away in 1999. By that time, she had moved to Boise, Idaho and was living with her daughter, Betty Bermensolo.

Then in 2002, she met a childhood friend, Edgar Harvey Douglas of Belgrade, Maine and had 14 more years of married life until his passing in 2016. By that time, she was living back in Maine with her eldest daughter.

For the last 7 years of her life as a widow, she enjoyed harvesting from the orchard and gardens, visiting with family, neighbors, and dear friends, and sharing her love of the Bible as a Jehovah's Witness. Mom also loved animals, music, both singing and dancing, playing Dominos with her caregiver, Kim Rarick while beginning to experience her strokes. She exhibited great courage and patience as she gradually lost the use of her limbs and speech.

Mom had shown that courage more than once as she travelled across the country first with Merle and later with Edgar, both in handicapped conditions. She cared patiently for each of them until their passing.

As mother of six children, 2 girls and 4 boys, she represented constancy, support, warmth, and tenderness with her beautiful smile. She was their teacher, their cheerleader, and their counselor. She will be dearly missed, but her positive influence will always be with those she loved. Her children were blessed to have her as their mother.

She is survived by all six of her children; Bonita Lynn Tilton Brooks and her husband, Robert N. Brooks of Stockton Springs, Maine; Betina Merlene Tilton Bermensolo of Boise, Idaho; Roland Merle Tilton and his wife, Gail Foss Tilton of South China, Maine; Merle Smiley Tilton, Jr. and his wife, Billie Jo Stratton Tilton of Dummer, New Hampshire; Paul James Tilton and betrothed, Bethanie Mazarro of Augusta Maine; and Jeffery Troy Tilton and wife, Cheri Underhill Tilton of Richmond, Maine. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren whom she adored. In addition, she enjoyed several nieces and nephews who also survive her.

The family would also like to express their gratitude for the sweet and loving care from special women in the last 7 years of her life: Breanna Robinson, Tasha Hill, Kimberly Rarick, as well as Home Health Services and Beacon Hospice, for their care of Bernadette.

A Christian service will be held for Bernadette on Sunday, June 11th at 2:00 PM at the Kingdom Hall in Dummer, N.H. If it is not possible to attend personally, a Zoom connection will be provided upon request by contacting Merle Tilton (Skip) at

In addition, family and friends are invited to a graveside service on Monday, July 2nd, 2023 at 3:00 PM at the Springer Memorial Cemetery on the River Road in Sidney, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in her name to the Humane Society in Waterville, Maine located on the Webb Road (207 873-2430).


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Bernadette Tilton

In Loving Memory

Bernadette Tilton

1927 - 2023

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