MARQUETTE, Mich. - Dennis E. (Pete) Bernier, 82, of 210 Bazinette Road, Marquette, entered eternal life Sunday, September 9, 2012, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born December 20, 1929, in Marquette, Michigan, the son of Dennis E. and Eva (Provost) Bernier. Dennis was a 1947 graduate of Graveraet High School and later earned his certification as an electrician while at the Great Lakes Naval Base. He served in the Navy and Naval Reserves from 1948 to 1952 as Electrician's Mate, 3rd Class, during the Korean War. During his commission he received multiple medals and served on the USS Strong and USS Kearsarge.
On April 21, 1951, he married Rhea Marie Durand at St. John the Baptist Church where they remained active members of the congregation. Dennis was a member of the Knights of Columbus for 61 years and the Third Order of St. Francis for 50 years. Dennis enjoyed attending Mass at his current parish, St. Louis the King Church, in Harvey. Dennis retired in 1992 from Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company where he had been employed as an Electrical Supervisor for many years. He worked at the Humboldt, Pioneer and Tilden Mines, as well as on the railroad.
Dennis E. (Pete) Bernier
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Rhea Marie (Durand), his special sister-in-law, Patricia Thomas, his children Susanna (Don) Braman of Munising, Stephen Bernier of Ishpeming, Paul Bernier (Debbie) of Dallas, Texas, Ann (John) Blume of Owasso, Oklahoma, Carol (Dave) Mills of Marquette, MaryAnn Bernier (James Groesch) of Marquette, Theresa (Jeff) Pepin of Marquette, grandchildren Kristina Craig, April and May Nagelkerk, Brittney Fishback, Megan Greer, Jeremy Blume, Joe and Matt Mills and great-grandchildren Kaiya, Lakota, Cameron, Calvin, Hunter and Ava. Also surviving are many nieces and nephews, most especially the children of Don and Pat Thomas, the Roy and LePage families. Preceding him in death were his parents, 8 brothers and sisters, his brother-in-law and best friend, Donald Thomas, and his grandson, Glenn Alan Bittner.
Dennis enjoyed spending time on the family farm that he and Marie purchased in 1963. He loved the outdoors and shot a buck last year while hunting with his daughter, Theresa. He had fun riding his ATV and golf cart. He had a wonderful sense of humor which he maintained even through his 20 year battle with Parkinson's. He was an amazing example of faith and perseverance despite his physical obstacles.
The Bernier Family would like to extend their gratitude to all of the compassionate healthcare workers who cared for Dad during his last few months.
A prayer service will be conducted by the Secular Franciscan Order at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 13 at St. Louis the King Church in Harvey. Visitation will follow until 11 a.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday in the church with the Rev. Chris Gardiner officiating and Deacon David Adler assisting. A reception will immediately follow in Gauthier Hall. Interment is scheduled at 2 p.m. at the Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Louis the King Church Building Fund, 264 Silver Creek Road, Marquette, MI 49855 in Mr. Bernier's memory.
The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting the family where memories may be shared at www.canalefuneral.com