Bernice Mae Sayklly

ESCANABA – Bernice Mae Sayklly, 87, of Wells, died Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, at the Bishop Noa Home in Escanaba. She journeyed in peace to rejoin her beloved husband, Sammy, who died 16 years ago on the same day.

Born on Nov. 15, 1925, Bernice was the daughter of the late Wilfred and Esther Couillard. (Esther later married the late Magnus Johnson). She graduated from Escanaba High School and married Sammy on Dec. 29, 1942. Their 45 years together was centered around their life together and two children, Bill and Patti. Sammy’s work at the Upper Peninsula Power Co. brought added enjoyment with the extended Reddy Kilowatt family.

Although she loved to stay close to home, Bernice had many interests. She enjoyed sports, especially the Green Bay Packers. Her love of animals was no more evident than the care and love she had for her son, Bill’s, bulldog Mo. She enjoyed good music and dancing. Among her favorite artists were Patty Paige (The Tennesse Waltz), Il Divo, and just about all of the icons of country music.

Bernice would never pass up a shopping excursion. Her trips with her daughter to Green Bay, Marquette, and Traverse City brought many a package and joy to her life. The UPS truck was a familiar sight in the driveway with bundles from her favorite QVC shopping network.

Spending time working in her beautiful yard and garden brought much happiness to her. When the holidays rolled around, Christmas lights put up by Sammy and son, Bill, added a special brilliance to her life.

Bernice had a sweet tooth (like the rest of her family). She always had room for cupcakes, candy (Sayklly’s of course), homemade cookies and bakery from Elmer’s. Her special enjoyment of Lebanese, French Canadian and Swedish foods brought her and her husband’s ethnic heritage to the forefront. Her tastes ranged from French meat pie to Lebanese sveehah, and Swedish lutefisk.

The Wells native is survived by her beloved son, Bill Sayklly of Escanaba; and daughter Patti (Mike) DeAgostino of Traverse City. She also leaves brother-in-law, Don Sayklly of Escanaba; and a number of cousins, nieces and nephews.

Bernice was preceded in death by her husband, Sammy; brother, Clarence “Buck” Couillard; parents, Wilfred and Esther Couillard; stepfather, Magnus Johnson; father and mother-in-law, George and Genevieve Sayklly; brothers-in-law, Edmond and Robert Sayklly and Philip Herro; sister-in-law, Josephine Herro; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Visitation with a brief prayer service will be held Thursday, Jan. 17, from noon until 2 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Escanaba.

Burial will follow at Gardens of Rest Cemetery in Wells.

The family wishes to thank the staff at the Bishop Noa Home for their compassionate care and family friend Connie Ettenhofer of Escanaba. To leave the family a message of condolence, go to