Beverly A. Fernandes (Vavie), 83

May 15, 2022

“Early morning the sky opened into a crystalline brilliance, and the sun glimmered through the clouds – just the way she liked it. A few nights had passed, and in the quiet of the night of a rare April rain, she left us. It was spring, the season of her rebirth. She lived and died on her own terms.” Friend and colleague, Judith P.

Beverly (Vavie) was born at home in Onset, Massachusetts, one of 15 children of Benjamin & Inez (Santos) Fernandes and passed away on April 22, 2022, in Santa Barbara, CA, after a courageous and private, two-year battle with cancer.

She attended Wareham Public Schools, followed by nursing school to become a registered nurse. Her career began as a surgical nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, MA, and she retired as the Director of the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Outpatient Surgery Center in California after 43 years of exemplary service.

Vavie led a fiercely independent and private life, avoiding the camera. She was a good listener — tempering compassion with practicality. Her warm heart was reflected in her beautiful smile and infectious laugh. She was a loyal and loving friend. Her family and dear friends stood steadfast by her bedside, holding her hand, and letting her know how much she was loved and appreciated. She will be greatly missed.  

Vavie had many interests and passions. She loved a variety of music including jazz, 80s rock, Nat King Cole, Cesaria Evora, Pavarotti and Maria Callas, and she loved her cars! She was passionate for crime novels and television crime dramas and thus considered herself a forensic expert. She enjoyed long walks on the beach, reveling in the surf and cool ocean breezes. Vavie found joy in breaking bread with family and friends.  

Vavie was also a huge tennis fan. Life came to a standstill when tennis was on, especially if Pete Sampras or Rafael Nadal were playing. On a visit to the east coast, she traveled to New York to attend the U.S. Tennis Open Tournament. It was an experience she never forgot.

Travel was also a priority for Vavie — dining in Italy with friends, visiting with her niece Linda or going back east to visit family. Traveling to see friends and family brought her great joy and happiness.

Along with her love of family, Beverly loved being a nurse! She spent the majority of her professional life as Director of Outpatient Services at Cottage Hospital. She was instrumental in making the Cottage Hospital OPS Department one of the best surgery centers in the country. Her colleagues commented that her department was like a home, and lovingly referred to her department as “Bev’s House.” As a patient advocate and respected colleague, “she knew how to follow the rules and she knew when it was okay to break the rules.” Beverly had an uncompromising work ethic that was formed early in her life. She was a tenacious and larger-than-life presence at Cottage Hospital.

Vavie enjoyed sharing stories of her youth growing up on Cape Cod. She recalled summers collecting quahogs and sunbathing on the beach at Shell Point. When she returned for visits, she’d dine with her sister, Mary, on scallops and lobsters at East Wind and always made sure to take home lobsters, linguica and Italian pastries from Boston’s North End, insisting on picking them up on the way to the airport.

Family was a huge influence on Vavie’s life. One of her favorite memories was watching her father make bread dough late at night in order to serve her mother fresh buns and coffee in the morning. She enjoyed being a jokester and playing practical jokes on her siblings and she was an engaging presence to her many nieces and nephews, along with the children/grandchildren of her friends and work family. She found joy in their presence and loved each and every one of them.  In turn, they all adored her.

Vavie found strength in her faith. It brought her through the profound grief of losing her sister, Hope, at a young age, as well as the passing of her parents and siblings. Resolute with her rosary in hand, she worshiped at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and prayed for them daily.

She is survived by her sisters: Mary Fontes of Onset, Janet Filkins of W. Wareham, Sheila Gordon of Randolph, and Minniet (Hugh) Pilgrim of Wareham. Her sisters-in-law:Jeanne Fernandes of Onset and Rose Fernandes of New Bedford; her Godchildren: Naomi Fernandes of Raynham and Anna Hatfield of Santa Barbara CA, numerous nieces/nephews, and her lifelong family and friends in Santa Barbara and her Cottage family.   

She was predeceased by her parents; her brothers/sisters-in-law: John (Sylvenia), Frank (Katherine), Benjamin (Diana), Amos (Charlotte), William (Sharon), Nicholas, Earl and Thomas; her sisters/brothers-in-law: Hope, Isabelle (Peter), William and Glossie.

She was a kind soul who was loved by those who knew her and all those whose life she touched. She lived a full and beautiful life. May her soul rest in peace. 

“End of Discussion.”

Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation at Chapman Funerals & Cremations - Wareham, 2599 Cranberry Highway (Rt. 28), Wareham on Thursday, May 19, 2022 from 8:30 am – 10:30 am. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at St. Mary Star ofthe Sea Mission Church, Onset Avenue, Onset at 11:00 am. Interment will be at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Tihonet Road, Wareham. Repast at the Bay Point Club, Onset Avenue, Buzzards Bay.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to: Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 227 N. Nopal Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, 805-965-4060 or Saint Mary Star of the Sea Mission, 141 Main St., Buzzards Bay, MA 02532 508-759-7777

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