A legend in his own time... Bernie was a strong, good, accomplished, loving, fun, and totally ageless man.
So many things come to mind. He loved and embraced a big extended family, was friends with everyone, and made a lasting impression on all he met. He served in the military, worked and raised family, was a gifted gardener, exceptional fisherman, built homes, fixed anything, raised honeybees and birds, an avid reader, great photographer, motorcycle riding, camping, rockhounding, boating, scuba diving, traveling so many places in the world, working at the hospital, kayaking, storytelling, and writing. A life very well-lived.
Remembering when Bernie rode a heavy street motorcycle with Mom(Arlene) on the back, through the desert keeping up and going everywhere the "kids" on dirt-bikes went. And when at about 80 years of age he walked about 10 miles home after Hurricane Charley, and later how he tackled a runaway patient on the hospital lawn. Still kayaking and fishing at 89 years old.
I've known Bernie over 40 years, and I was honored to have him give me away when my husband Mitch and I got married 30 years ago. Bernie was always warm and welcoming and accepting, a steady presence, and we are so glad to be part of his and Mom's family over the years. Mitch and Bernie had good times filled with laughter and fun, fishing on the Pacific ocean and kayaking in Florida. Bernie truly enriched our lives and we will miss him so much.
We believe God holds Bernie close to His heart, and has amazing new adventures in store for him.
Arlene & Family,
There are never words to say that can fill the emptiness you must be feeling now. I have known Bernie since I was a little kid. Great man, great dad. My prayers are with you in this time. So sorry. Barbara Lamb
BERNIE LIT UP ALL OF OUR LIVES WITH HIS MANY ADVENTURES, AND WHAT AN HISTORIAN.. EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT OUR ANCESTORS CAME FROM HIM. WE WILL JOIN HIM AGAIN BYE AND BYE, IN THAT WONDERFUL PLACE WHERE THERE ARE NO TEARS, NO PAIN, NO SICKNESS, NO DYING. . GOD COMFORT YOU, ALL THE KIDS, GRANDKIDS AND GREATS... WITH LOVE,
FROM CAROL COLLINS
Bernie was a gentle man, with a great smile. He was pivotal in helping me track my paternal side; my grandmother was a Strapp. Recently, he has been sending me his wonderful written stories about his very exciting life, and all the detailed memories of his adventures past. He is a great writer, and he inspired me to take chances and think outside the safe box. I am sorry for your loss, but I am grateful to have had him in my life..........my prayers are with you all........fondly, Mickie Putt McConnell
Dear Arlene, Sonny, Mary and other family members-We were so sorry to hear of Bernie's passing although I know he was greeted with joy when he entered his Savior's heaven.
We have so many memories from over 50 years ago and also our trip in 2000 when Arlene and Bernie hosted us for several days. What a blessing that was.
In recent years Bernie sent us via e-mail many of his great stories of things that took place in his life. What a blessing he was.
We will miss him.
Love, Brent and Judy Salkeld
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Dear Arlene & family,
Jeff and I would like to say that we are very sorry for lost of Bernie!! Jeff had a lot of fond memories as a teenage and all the stories he told him and when I came into Jeff life and yours that's when I got to know Bernie. He was the kindness, loving, a heart of Gold and how compassionate he was to me, He always made me feel apart of the family and he will always hold a deep love in my heart. Bernie will be a great loss to those who new him!!! But how he is up in Heaven and is Dancing, Singing with all the Angel's...
Until we meet again Bernie!!!
Your charming smile and personality will be greatly missed.
Bernie had oh, so many traits that were rare and admirable. He was a genleman and a gentle man, who never spoke ill of anyone. He had a warm, kind heart, a ready smile for everyone and was always happy to be a good listener with an empathetic ear and a word of encouragement. And he loved to laugh...and laugh...and laugh. And I loved making him laugh!!! He has now gone to his "great reward," as he phrased it, and I'm certain his new wings fit him comfortably and perfectly!
I'm not sad for Bernie. He led a great, full life and a grateful life...every single day. I'm saddened for all of us who loved him, because we will miss him profoundly! I thank God that I had the unmitigated joy of having him in my life and a part of my life for over 40 years. Lucky, lucky me!
The garden in haven was lacking a rose and God wanted nothing but the best and so he saw this beautiful, sparkling rose and he hand picked it. So don't worry or be sad Arlene &family because we know that Bernie is in the garden of Heaven shinning brighter than ever before. we will cherish the memories as co-worker his laughter and his great personality, God shall wipe away all tears from the eyes and there shall be no more tears.
Sorry for your loss , may Bernie RIP
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.