Visitation for Bernarda “Nivia” C. Hernandez (née Miranda), 85, of Brookfield, WI, formerly of Palatine for 55 years, will be held from 9:00 am until the time of Prayers at 10:30 am on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at the Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home 201 N. Northwest Hwy, Palatine. A Funeral Mass will be said at 11:00 am at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 455 N. Benton Street, Palatine. The burial will take place at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery in Palatine.
Nivia went to the Lord peacefully at Aurora at Home Zilber Family Hospice on November 24, 2000, in Milwaukee, WI.
Born in Sagua La Grande, Villa Clara, Cuba, in 1935, Nivia was the middle child of 3 siblings. Upon her graduation from high school, she attended professional secretary school and enjoyed working at the Executive Office of the local utility company. She married her childhood sweetheart, Daniel Hernandez, and loved him for 35 years until terminal illness called him to Heaven. Upon their marriage, they moved to Havana, where their daughter was born. Three years later, after relocating to the U.S., their son was born.
In March of 1969, Nivia and her husband arrived in the U.S. as Cuban refugees, seeking political asylum and to preserve their lives and their freedom. Nivia was 6 months pregnant with their son at the time, and with their 3 year-old-daughter in hand, came in pursuit of the opportunities and possibilities for which the U.S. is well-known. Alongside her husband, she left every personal belonging she owned back in Cuba, her extended family, and the comfort of her natural language, and embarked on this journey with only the clothes on their backs. Nivia worked two full-time jobs in order to buy their own home and was so proud of this accomplishment. She still cooked every meal from scratch with Cuban dishes being her specialty. Higher education was something they fervently believed in, and with much sacrifice, they put one of their children through college and the other through vocational school.
Nivia practiced a very deep faith in God and lived her Roman Catholic beliefs by attending mass every day, being active in various prayer groups including the Charismatic group at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Palatine, and prayed for all those in need. She had a beautiful and loving heart, and her focus was always on giving to others, be it her family, friends, or those she thought to be less fortunate: she never held back.
Nivia was gifted in music and was extremely artistic. She was an accomplished pianist, skilled knitter, and completed other craft projects such as sewing, needlepoint, watercolor painting and jewelry making. Her favorite pastime was always time spent with her 3 adored grandchildren and her black Chow Chow named “Beauty”.
Through the many trials she faced in this life, Nivia maintained her infectious sense of humor and her kind and gentle nature. She was an amazing mother, sister, grandmother, and friend. Her passing left a void that can never be filled, and she will be missed beyond words.
Nivia is survived by her daughter, Lisette Hernandez, of Brookfield, WI, and her son, Dan Hernandez (Denice) of Island Lake, IL; grandchildren, Alex Mueller (Beth), Brianna Hernandez, and Matthew Hernandez; Sister, Dr. Zoraida Cornejo (Andres) of Mt. Prospect, IL, and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, J. Daniel Hernandez; her mother, Fela Miranda; her father, Francisco “Paco” Miranda; and her sister, Marta Alvarez, all of Sagua la Grande, Villa Clara, Cuba.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations would be appreciated to the Alzheimer’s Association.