Bernie Mac Wife Rhonda McCullough, a Woman Behind a Great MAN
Bernie Mac wife, Rhonda McCullough showed her very best knowledge and remembering her first love. She told as she remember her husband every moment and also working through a research institute to raise awareness.
Not every man is lucky to get the greatest better half in his entire life, but, Bernie Mac is someone who got one of the best gift from god that we still remember. Rhonda McCullough, not only the woman behind the genius while he was alive. But after his death by 2008, she showed the best remembrance through love, duties and respect her husband love to.
It’s been 10 years Bernie died from some complications related to sarcoidosis, which is an incurable inflammatory disease that attacks any patients skin, lungs and lymph nodes. August 9, is the date this great man died and still Bernie Mac wife remember those lovely 30 years full of struggle, sacrifice and hard work. While they married, as she said, they were living in a one-bedroom apartment on the South Side of Chicago state. From the very beginning of their relation, that started before 33 years (30 years within married life) they both passed late night works, long days job schedule, new plans to go forward and moreover and the most important a successful relationship that never bend or broke.
How did they start their relationship?
It all started from their Chicago Vocational High School, where Bernie Mac wife was a grade behind from him. At that time, he was very famous among girls at his school for the sense of humor. Yet, while they both met with each other, became a team and made a great sharing partner which belongs to sharing time while at school, at lunch and even play time. Within few months, they both found within them as it is not enough to share their thoughts only, but also need to fulfill their life together. They married in 1977 which is two years after Bernie Mac wife graduated from high school.
Reminiscing, McCullough says, ‘Bernie always had a sense of humor.’
How Bernie Mac and his wife started their early struggle life?
It was hard to believe as how difficult this man started. He took up odd jobs like being a janitor, a cook, and later a bus driver, a delivery man for Sears, a coach, a UPS agent, and furniture mover all at various times from his 20’s to his early 30’s. He also worked in the Regal theatre in addition to performing in several parks before making a career out of comedy in Chicago’s Cotton Club. Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx were his influencers while his jokes were largely drawn from the difficulties he faced growing up in his family.
McCullough shares those tough days, “One day he came home and said, ‘I got fired,’ ” “I’m thinking ‘Why?’ because we had just kind of got on our feet and were able to put a little money away, but I didn’t trip out.”
“At that point I remember him saying, ‘I can do comedy; I can really do this,’” she says. “I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to be the person who kills his dream because if he never makes it, I’ll probably hear for the rest of my life, ‘You stopped me, you didn’t believe in me.’ So I said, ‘You know what? Do what you need to do. If I need to, I’ll get a second job.’ And I did”. She was a nurse already by enrolling in a two year nursing program from 1983 to 1985. She started her career at an intermediate care facility working with the mentally ill people, working at the night shift. Bernie Mac wife, also worked for 15 years at Chicago Read-Mental Health Center.
The change, that changed their hard life..
She shares as the big break for their life was by 1990 while Bernie won the Miller Lite Comedy Search. Since then, they never looked back and after that day, he got a lot of movie offers. “I believe the reason he was able to do all he did is because I was back here at home taking care of everything so he didn’t have any worries,” she says. It was a long journey since they both started and many people will never know or believe as he was growing his name. Very fast he became a legend of comedy industry. But McCullough was holding back and sending message as she is always maintaining home, kids and paid bills at the right time.
Some great words from Bernie Mac wife about Bernie:
She said, “I held us down”. “I worked; I did what I had to do. You do what you have to do as a wife and a mother.”
“We weren’t a newly married couple,” McCullough says. “We had been married for a long time before he got his success. At that point, I was very secure in my role as his wife and didn’t have to worry about anything.”
“He was kind hearted and gentle,” she describes him. “Most people thought he was real tough because he had that exterior, but he was really a gentle person. He was very sensitive. Also he didn’t let people see that a lot.”
“Mostly he liked to entertain at home because he wasn’t a person who liked to go out a lot, but he did like to have people at home.”
How he died? From the words of his wife..
He knew and also disclosed publicly about that. He was suffering from sarcoidosis which is a disease that causes inflammation in body tissue. For the same he frequently had attacks in his lungs. In 2008, for some medical treatments he admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital which is in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. That time, after a week of unsuccessful medical treatment he survived. But after then went to cardiac arrest. Bernie Mac wife said he was on a ventilator to fed with a tube inserted into him. By 9th of August, he was about to start putting the feeding tube inserted, his heart stopped beating.
She recalled as the whole body of Mac was shaking while she went in. Also quickly with his eyes wide open without him looking at anybody in particular. She pleaded with him not to die that she would take care of him. But her pleas fell on deaf ears as her beloved Bernie Mac had already set course for the path of no return. At early morning like 2 o’clock, at the age of 50, he died.
What she is doing these days?
The Bernie Mac Foundation established in 2007, just a year before his death, to create awareness about sarcoidosis. In 2012, The Bernie Mac STAR Center at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, or STAR Center, was established. April is National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month. Also the foundation is hosting is its annual Purple Carpet Fundraiser April 26 to raise money for research.
“I’m thankful for the 33 years we had together,” McCullough says. “I miss him every day, but he’s in my heart”. She said her purpose is to serve because “I enjoy it and I get the most joy from bringing awareness.”
Bernie Mac wife, Rhonda remarried three years after (2011) Bernie death until she met and got remarried to Horce Gilmore.
“He was always funny,” she says.