BRUNSWICK — Bernice Cleaves Files, 95, formerly of Gorham, ME, and more recently of Sunnybrook Village, died peacefully in her sleep on July 2, 2014, at Horizons Living and Rehab Center.

Bernice was born on May 13, 1919, in Harvard, MA, the daughter of Herbert and Alice Wyeth Parker Cleaves. She attended Harvard schools, graduated from Ayer High School and received her bachelor’s degree in education from Fitchburg State Teacher’s College. She began her career as a second grade teacher but soon after her marriage to Myron J. Files in 1941 she became an elementary school substitute teacher, full-time homemaker, and mother of two daughters. Myron’s work took them to Stoneham, MA; South Portland, ME; Fairfield, CT; Canton, MA; and Burlington, MA.

In 1982 they retired to Gorham, ME and were a devoted couple for 67 years. Bernice loved cooking, baking, singing, growing flowers and bird watching. But most of all, she loved her family. Bernice was the “rock” of their home and was especially respected for her compassion and belief in the best in every person.

Bernice is survived by her two daughters — Bette Files of Portland, ME and Claudia Searles and her husband Jim of Bath, ME; and her two grandchildren — Joanna Searles of Frankfort, ME and David Searles of Dorchester, MA.

Burial will be in Eastern Cemetery in Gorham, ME. A private gathering for the immediate family will be held later this summer.

Funeral arrangements are made by Dolby Funeral Chapel, 434 River Road, Windham. For on-line condolences, please visit