Cover photo for Bernadette M’Balu Kamara-Bangura's Obituary
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Bernadette

Bernadette M’Balu Kamara-Bangura

On Monday, January 6, 2020, Bernadette M’Balu Kamara-Bangura (affectionately known as “Aunty B” or “Aunty “M’Balu”), loving and devoted wife, mother of 3, and grandmother of 4, passed away at age 72.
Bernadette was born on July 7, 1947 in Magburaka, Sierra Leone to Nana Mansaray and Bassie Kamara. While in Magburaka, she attended the Magburaka Secondary School for Girls (Mathora) where she received her high school diploma. Afterwards, Bernadette worked as a receptionist where she gained her impeccable organizational, planning, and time-management skills. While working as a receptionist, Bernadette’s desire to be her own boss came to fruition. With her drive and tenacity, she opened a local bar in Magburaka, which became popular and frequented by notable businessmen and local politicians. She later owned and operated a convenient store in Freetown, Sierra Leone until she was afforded the opportunity to relocate to the United States.

Bernadette arrived in the United States on May 2, 1974. She attended Strayer University where she received her Associates of Arts degree in Executive Private Secretarial on June 18, 1978. Following school, Bernadette worked in various secretarial roles in Virginia and Washington D.C. and later transitioned to the home healthcare field where she worked as a certified nursing assistant. Bernadette never stopped desiring entrepreneurship, so she founded Caring Companions, a home healthcare agency, which she operated from 1995 – 2006. She also owned a Merry Maids residential cleaning franchise, which she operated for a number of years before becoming the co-founder of The Swift Cleaning Services, a residential cleaning company, which is still in operations today. On November 22, 1980, Bernadette married her college sweetheart Almamie Bangura. They raised one son, Ibrahim, and two daughters (Marie and Nanah) in Alexandria, VA.

Bernadette had a passion for serving and uplifting others. In 2003, she founded the Sierra Leone Relief and Development Outreach, Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to elevate the social, economic, and educational welfare of people in her home country Sierra Leone. She also volunteered with numerous organizations throughout the Washington, DC area that focused on empowerment and social welfare of underserved people. She was a faithful member of Word of Life International Church in Springfield, VA for over 25 years and served as a greeter for the majority of her time.
Bernadette was preceded in death by her mother Nana, her father Bassie, her brothers John, Abdul, Ibrahim, and Ousman, and sisters Ramatu, N’mah, Matilda and Fatu. She is survived by her husband of 39 years Almamie, her three children, Ibrahim, Marie, and Nanah, her grandchild Mitchell, her adopted grandchildren Siniora, Precious, and Queen, several siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A tribute/reflection service will be held on Friday, January 31, 2020 from 7-9 p.m. followed by a funeral service on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. at Word of Life International Church located at 5225 Backlick Rd. in Springfield, VA. Flowers may be sent to Word of Life International Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bernadette M’Balu Kamara-Bangura, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Gathering

Friday, January 31, 2020

7:00 - 9:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Visitation

Saturday, February 1, 2020

9:30 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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Interment

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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