The Life of Ernest Bernard
COLUMBIANA - Ernest Bernard, most recently a resident of Whispering Pines in Columbiana, passed away Tuesday, at the Hospice House in Boardman.
He was born May 16, 1920, the second son of Sam and Costanza (Panza) Bernardo.
Ernest was a a graduate of East High School, Class of 1938, where he played trumpet in the band. He had attended the Deforest Electronics School after graduation before leaving for CCC Camp 1501 in Darby, Mont., where he cleared timber for a year.
He briefly returned to the local area before departing for Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, where he received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps, in 1943. He trained throughout the south, as a multi-engine bomber pilot, VE Day arrived just in time to prevent deployment to the European theater. Then, Capt. Ernest Bernard returned to the valley and served as a reserve officer at the base north of Youngstown. He would continue to fly and own aircraft, well into his senior years.
Ernest was a general contractor, operating E. Bernard Construction in Hubbard,for a number of years, and specialized in building over 20 churches in the local area.
He was a former member of the Mahoning Valley Builders Assoc, past president of the Hubbard Rotary Club and listed in the Marqui’s Who’s Who in the Midwest.
A life-long student of the Bible, he had served the church as a deacon, trustee and Sunday school teacher over the years, and studied through several Berean courses.
He was married for 73 years to the former Dorothy DeBartolo, whom he married on June 21, 1941, and she passed away in Nov. 29, 2014.
He is survived by a son, Richard (Audrey) Bernard of Palm Harbor Fla.; three grandchildren, Shari Kellerhalls of Phoenix, Doug (Denise) Bernard of North Lima and Terry (Pam) Bernard of Kansas City, Kan.; seven great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. As one of seven children, he is also survived by two younger sisters, Eva Stigliano of Warren and Clara Bottroff of Huntington Beach, Calif.
Besides his wife and parents, Ernest was preceded in death by an older brother Gene (Delores) Bernard; a sister, Eleanor (Carmine) Reigle; brother, Frank (Alice) Bernard; and infant sister Gina Marie.
Family and friends may pay their respects on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, from 4 to 5:50 p.m. at the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4700 Market St., Boardman.
There will be a funeral service on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, at 6 p.m. at the funeral home, with Pastor Mike Marino officiating, followed by military honors, provided by the great men and woman of the U.S. Air Force.
Entombment will take place at Green Haven Memorial Gardens, Canfield.