Louis Elphage Wynn Jones Bernard was the son of Newfoundland writer and actor Andy Jones (of CODCO fame), and the sister of Republic of Doyle's Marthe Bernard. He recently took his own life at the age of 28 after a long battle with mental illness.
At Louis's funeral last week, Mary Walsh, who performed with Andy Jones on CODCO and babysat Louis as a child, gave this moving eulogy, which turned into a call for action to help those suffering from mental illness:
"Louis's mother, the extraordinary Mary Lynn Bernard, said last night, 'If Louis had had a physical illness, against which he fought for so long, and he had succumbed to that physical illness, he would have died in a hospital, surrounded by the people he loved, and who love him.... But because Louis had a mental illness, to which after years of courageous struggle, he finally succumbed, he died alone, with no one around him, and nothing to ease the pain.'
"And as a community, I don't think that we can let that keep happening. We say we don't know what to do, but I don't think that's any longer an acceptable excuse."
In Louis's obituary, his family asked that instead of flowers, donations in his memory could be made to the Stella Burry Foundation, which helps support community services in Newfoundland or the Canadian Mental Health Association.