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Sheila Anne Bernal

May 18, 1983 - September 22, 2018

On May 18, 1983, a shining star was born. Her proud parents, Soriano and Saturnina Castillo, named her Sheila Anne Castillo. From the moment she was born, she was strong and a fighter. Despite the umbilical cord being wrapped around her neck multiple times, she prevailed and came into the world tiny, yet fierce. Sheila was known as Daddy’s Little Giant.

From the very beginning, she was an especially talented child with a beautiful voice.  It has been said that before she spoke, she sang and she shared this gift and numerous talents with many.  As a young child, she had no fear performing in public and was always front and center. Sheila was the star in many plays and musicals. One of them being “The Wiz” as Dorothy. She danced the Hawaiian hula and hip-hop, sang her heart out in countless bands, choirs, and variety shows under South Bay School of Music Arts/South Bay Kids performance group, both locally and all over California. Besides her beautiful voice, she knew how to play the piano, guitar, and drums.  This is only a small fraction of the light she shined upon the world.

To cultivate this already smart and talented shining star, Sheila attended Norwood Elementary and Quimby Oak Middle School in San Jose.  She was in the G.A.T.E Program, which stood for Gifted And Talented Education. She attended an all-girl Catholic high school, and graduated Cum Laude in the class of 2001. Sheila was so intelligent that she could be studying, crocheting, and watching TV, and doing her homework at the same time with no affect to her studies. For college, she was accepted to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.  Her thirst for knowledge did not end there, as she went on to receive her master’s in Computer Management at Santa Clara University. Even after her formal education, she enrolled in classes that interested her and would help give her family the best in life.

Sheila met the love of her life, Gerard Bernal in 2008. They were happily married in 2010 and she became Sheila Anne Castillo Bernal. On May 27, 2012 they welcomed their first born, Gia Maxine Bernal.  They lived in Milpitas and later moved to El Sobrante. In their El Sobrante home, they were blessed to grow their beautiful family with the birth of Gerard Maxwell Bernal on November 11, 2016.  They loved to travel and enjoyed being foodies and tasting all the different cuisines.

Her light shined exceptionally bright when it came to her husband Gerard, and her children, Gia Maxine and Gerard Maxwell. After living in the Bay Area for most of her life, they made the move to Texas in 2017 to provide her family with the best education and upbringing. They were able to buy their dream house in McKinney, Texas.  Along with her husband, they worked to bring the children to an outstanding school in the neighborhood and even provided extra learning at home. They were also passionately involved in extracurricular activities with the kids, such as swimming, the Girl Scouts, baking and cooking, and so much more. Of all the accomplishments she has achieved, being a mom would be her proudest accomplishment. This is evident through the bright personalities of both Gia Maxine and Gerard Maxwell.

Just like the stars in the sky, Sheila brought immense light into this world. She held strong beliefs, was fiercely loyal, and put everyone’s needs before her own.  On September 22, 2018, Sheila’s light was only dimmed temporarily as she abruptly left us. She gained her Angel wings on September 27, 2018. Up until the very end, she gave herself to provide renewed life to those in need and she saved several lives with her gracious charity. Let that be a testimony to her legacy and be the way you remember her, as a loving and giving person.

Although she can no longer be here with us in the physical world, she will continue being a shining star to everyone she touched. She will always be our angelic HERO.

Sheila is survived by her soulmate and husband, Gerard Bernal; beautiful children, Gia Maxine and Gerard Maxwell; strong parents, Soriano and Saturnina Castillo;  loving sister and brother in law, Sherie Lyn and Michael Hafalia; nephew, Matthew; nieces, Macylyn and Melody; and paternal grandmother, Ines Malvar Castillo.

Memorials Would you like to say a few words? Click Here +

I knew this lovely lady from Apex. Her smiling face each time her and her husband Gerard brought their kids to the playroom. Juat hearing about this devastating heart is broken. My heart goes out to your family. If any of us at Apex can help with anything....please dont hesitate to ask. Condolences. Many hugs and prayers. God Bless. Michelle Chatman , November 17, 2018 Thank you Sheila for bringing joy and success to our lives at Newfield. When you arrived you wrote me a wonderful note which I would like to share with your family and friends: My name is Sheila Bernal. I graduated from Cal Poly SLO in Computer Engineering and am currently working on my Master’s in Engineering Management at Santa Clara University. I have worked in the semiconductor industry for the past 5 years. My husband is a chef. I have an 8 month old daughter name Gia and a 3 year old German Shepherd named Hennessy. I enjoy cooking/baking, knitting, and snowboarding. I also sing in a band. I am excited to be joining the Newfield Wireless team. If you have any questions or just want to come by and say Hi, come on over.
Marc Bensadoun, November 13, 2018
I first met Sheila in kindergarten at Norwood Creek Elementary. She was such an energetic and beautiful individual that brought so much happiness to this world. Her talents, ambition, and her amazing voice drew in so much love. After our years at Quimby Oak Jr. High, a lot of the friends we had went our separate ways.. including Sheila herself. Going off to different high schools.. and as such, I pretty much lost contact with her as well. Her angelic voice was always distinguishable, even when she was singing in a choir. It stood out and shone with such brightness just like her personality. Those were the things I remember her the most for, and that amount of love she brought to this world can never be extinguished. I am glad I got to know her and have her be a part of my childhood.
Trung D Nguyen, October 1, 2018 Thanks, Sheila, for spreading your joy while working in Berkeley. Many blessings to the family. Antonio Rosario, October 1, 2018 My heart is heavy to know that you have left this earth. Your smile will be missed but always remembered. I've had the pleasure to see you grow into a beautiful woman, wife and mother and blessed to know your husband and children. You and Leilani had always stayed close and I'm happy that through the years we always saw each other and I loved your cupcakes. You will be missed. Rest in peace Sheila. Love, Auntie Debbie
Debbie Orina, September 29, 2018 RIP... God got a special angel.
Toni Lincoln , September 29, 2018 I went to elementary and jr high with Sheila. I remember she was such a nice girl with a beautiful voice. My heartfelt condolences to her family. May she rest in eternal peace. Carmen S. , September 29, 2018 Dear family, I do not know you, however, this is one of the most beautiful obituaries I've ever read and without a doubt, because Mrs Bernal was an absolute wonderful subject. She is an inspiration to us all, your deep love for her shines today as well. I pray for complete peace within your hearts. Loyd Crawford, September 29, 2018