Evangeline C. Bernal (Vangie), age 84, passed away May 14, 2016 in her own home joining her recently deceased husband, Juan Bernal, and son, Gerald Burch, after surviving with Parkinsons Disease for almost a decade. Recently, as she rested quietly in her bed, one of her great grandchildren climbed into bed with her to give her a wet kiss directly on her lips. Smiling while being affected by a little case of the "allergies," she whispered, "He got me. I don't know why he loves me so much." She may not have known why, but we do. As she told us, she lived a good life; she made good choices; she had no regrets. Vangie is an amazing woman always beating the odds, whether in life or at the casinos. They gave her 10 days to live, but she decided on living over 5 weeks, giving her family an amazing gift . . . time to love and hold her a little longer before finally being able to let her go. Vangie was born on August 18, 1931 to Desiderio and Cleotilde Gallegos in Anton Chico, New Mexico and became one of 14 children. Vangie helped support her family by working in the fields picking cotton and sewing parachutes for the military while still managing to graduate from Santa Rosa High School in 1949 at the age of 17, something she was so proud of and unusual in the 40's. Soon after, she met and married Charles Burch Sr.. Vangie divorced in 1955 leaving her a single mother to four children. Determined to make a good life for her children, she worked to support them during a time when it was near impossible to exist without the support of a man. Vangie was passionate in all things, whether it be in love, her belief in never giving up on loved ones who are struggling, or hitting the big one at the slots! This was never so obvious as when she stopped at the local Dog House in Albuquerque where she met Juan Bernal (Ben), the beginning of a new chapter in her life. They married by proxy via Paul Pando on April 14, 1957, before relocating to Tennessee per military life where they added two more children to their family. After returning to Albuquerque, Vangie started working at the Piggly Wiggly, known for her friendly smile and generosity, even turning a blind eye when little ones would sneak off with a goodie. After her retirement, always needing to stay busy, she started teaching aerobics with the Senior Citizen's Center and taking computer classes. Vangie loved being surrounded by family, particularly her children and husband. Being a living example for her children in her relationship with others, she raised her sons to be good men who treat their women with love and respect and her only daughter to be an independent woman capable of working to support her family while also raising children and doting on her husband. Vangie adored her grandchildren taking them shopping for dresses, to eat ice cream, riding on her banana bike to the local park, and watching and applauding them as they awkwardly performed at the annual Christmas Eve talent show. But, mostly, she loved being with her Juanito, sitting on the front porch (Un Rinconcito en El Cielo) watching the people walking by and solving the worlds problems, or even just arguing with him. Our mother and grandmother is and always will be much loved and greatly missed. We know Vangie finally opened that darn door and is dancing in her red dress with her chulito while listening to a good band playing ranchera music.
She is survived by her children, Charles Burch jr and wife, Katie, Edward Burch and wife, Kay, her only daughter Joann Mares and husband, Ray, Albert Bernal and wife, Yvonne, and Alvin Bernal and wife, Sharon, all of Albuquerque; her 13 grandchildren, Carlos Burch, Shalene Andujo, Stephanie Lange, Jason Mares, Edward Michael Burch, Janelle Aragon, Jacqueline Velasquez, Leticia Bernal, Jessica Bernal, Marisa Bernal, Natasha Bernal, Mariah Bernal, and Alexander Bernal; 19 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; siblings Flora Gallegos, Eddie Gallegos and wife, Angie, Manuel Gallegos and wife, Margie, Nadine Chavez and husband, Alex, and Mary Lou Romero and husband, Paul.
To view information or leave a condolence, please visit www.danielsfuneral.com
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