Edwin Bernardez loved being a father to 6-year-old Madelyn, and he loved being involved with all her activities, said Rachel Bernardez, his wife of almost 10 years.
“She was his life,” she said. “He loved to volunteer for Girl Scouts and he went to PTO meetings. He was an amazing dad.”
Edwin “Eddie” Bernardez, 41, of Valparaiso, died Jan. 26.
Born in Honduras, he came to the United States when he was about 8 years old with his father. He was proud of the fact he attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., on scholarship.
The couple met at a convention in New York the week before September 11, 2001, Rachel Bernardez said. She contacted him after the terrorist attacks to make sure he was okay, and continued to keep in touch.
The couple eventually married, and in 2005 he officially became a United States citizen.
“He was really proud of that,” she said. “He dressed up in a suit the first time he voted.”
He loved history, science fiction, and the New York sports teams, she said. He enjoyed gardening, and was proud of his flowers and his vegetables.
Bernardez loved to cook, and enjoyed making up recipes from scratch.
“He would just wing it. He loved cooking for us,” she said.
Rachel Bernardez said her husband was an amazing man who would get along well with everyone he met.
“He was the kind of person it was easy to make friends with,” she said. “Even people who had encounters with him that only lasted a few minutes liked him. Everyone who knew him, loved him.”