Bernice A. Salce
1922 - 2023
Obituary of Bernice A. Salce
Bernice Tardugno Salce, 100, passed away peacefully on February 3, 2023 at Bethany Gardens with her daughter, family, and friends by her side.
Bernice was born on September 8, 1922 in Lawrence, Massachusetts to Michael and Maria Consilio Tardugno. She moved to Rome as a young girl and attended Rome public schools, graduating from Rome Free Academy with the class of 1940. On April 21, 1947 she married Paul A. Salce in St. John the Baptist Church. Paul and Bernice enjoyed a loving relationship until his passing in June of 2001.
In 1952 Bernice assisted her brother, Dr. Ralph E. Tardugno, in establishing his dental practice in Rome. Bernice managed the office for thirty-three years, assisting in all facets of the growing practice. Bernice loved interacting with patients and developed lasting friendships with several generations of Rome families.
Bernice was a gracious hostess who found true joy in feeding her guests. She loved to serve her Italian specialties and delicious pies. Bernice always shared her positive outlook on life with guests in her home and strangers she met around town. Bernice made friends wherever she went. She was fond of dogs, and enjoyed the comfort and companionship of her many Golden Retrievers through the years.
As a devoted wife and mother, Bernice worked, managed her household, and devoted time and energy to the Rome community. She was proud of her work as a committee person for the Rome Democratic Committee, alongside her good friend, James O’Shea. She was a devout Catholic and founding member of St. Paul’s Church. Bernice offered her prayers to all she encountered. She attended Mass daily and relished her special friendship with Father Robert Kelly and his late mother. After she retired, she spent many happy winters in Florida, first with her husband and then in Naples with her daughter, Kathy, and Kathy’s friends.
Bernice is survived by her loving daughter, Kathy, her sister-in-law, Arlinda Tardugno, and her wonderful nephews, nieces, and cousins. She also leaves her faithful Golden Retriever, Harper. Bernice was predeceased by Paul, her devoted husband of 54 years, along with her siblings, Frank Tardugno, Carmella Fruin, Carl Tardugno, Dr. Ralph Tardugno, and Josephine Vicenzi. The family extends a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Bethany Gardens who showered Bernice with care and compassion during the last three years of her life.
A Mass of Christian will be held on Wednesday, February 8th at 11 AM at St. Paul’ Church. Interment will take place in St. Peter’s Cemetery. Friends may call at Nunn and Harper Funeral Home, 418 N. George St. on Tuesday, February 7th from 4 until 6 PM. Contributions in Bernice’s memory may be made to the St. Paul’s Church Memorial Fund, 1807 Bedford St., Rome, NY 13440 or to the Golden Retriever Foundation, PO Box 952732, St. Louis, MO 63195-2732.