Russell Lloyd Bernard, aka “Russ” passed away December 3, 2020 at his winter home in Panama City Beach Florida, with his precious wife Bonnie at his side. Being born August 22, 1929, Russ lived a good long life. He’d turned 91 this past summer.
Most people in Munising knew Russ as the friendly meat cutter from Hub’s SuperValue where he’d worked for 30 years not only serving the public but endearing himself to everyone who met him. Everybody liked Russ. He was an outgoing kind and gentle man. After retiring he often had little garage sales at his home, more to meet and visit with people than to disperse his old treasures. He just liked being around people.
After being born in Marquette life took Russ all over the U.P. until he finally settled in Munising. He went to school here and was proud to have graduated with his class of ‘48. He looked forward to his 4th of July class reunions where he could see and relive those times with his old classmates. But mostly it was his kids and grand kids who got to hear all the stories of his life, which he loved telling.
Russ married his high school sweetheart Molly Shirey and together they raised six children. Both Russ and Molly were very involved in the community. Just to name a few things; Russ was active with the Silver Echo’s Drum & Bugle Corp, driving busloads of kids and fixing equipment for many summers. He was also the president of the North American Snowmobile Association for five years. And he worked with the U.P. 200 & Midnight Run dog sled races for four years. Russ and Molly were married for 25 years when illness took Molly in 1974, devastating his and his family’s lives, as well as the community.
Years later a new love came into Russ’ life and in 1979 he married Bonnie Scott and her two children. With his added family, Russ now became a wonderful husband again as well as scout master of Pack 332. He joked about how in Scouts he had to earn his badge to use a knife, when for years he earned a living using one. Russ had the most wonderful sense of humor. When he and Bonnie moved from their home on Sand Point Road into their condo he missed doing yard work, so he started mowing the grass at the Eden Lutheran church where he and Bonnie were members. He proudly told people that he was the groundskeeper of God’s Garden of Eden. But his fondest “grass time” was out at Pictured Rocks Golf Course where he and Bonnie loved playing and supporting the sport as well as enjoying all the friendships they found there.
An unusual and fun thing that Russ and Bonnie both loved doing was dressing up. Whether it be for Halloween, as clowns on the 4th of July, as Mr & Mrs Santa Claus, as two crazy fans at football games, and even dolling up for their great grand-daughter’s tea party. Together they’ve brought fun to so many things. Russ was even voted the Mardi Gras Queen in Florida one year.
Russ is leaving behind his loving wife Bonnie and his children; Lynne Bowerman, Jake Bernard, Sandra Davis, Jude Holloway, Russ Bernard, Sheryl Anderson, and Sue (Mark) Jokela. Also his grandchildren; Bruce Davis Angela Davis, Marcia Hard, Steven (Kathryn)Bernard, Nathanael (Cindy Tesh) Holloway, Isaiah (Tiffany) Holloway, Anna Hicks, Christopher (Jessica) Bernard, Alex Bernard, Brian (Julia) Bernard, Jordan Bernard, Olivia (Steve) Mayhew, Felicia (Freddy) Livermore, Tim (Mary Walding) Anderson, Jadee & Jessica Jokela; as well as many great-grandchildren and friends.
Having gone on before Russ were his son-in-laws; Bob Bowerman, Dave Holloway, Ron (Peanut) Davis, & Tim Anderson, also his son Scott Stelmaszek/Bernard and his grand-daughter Stephanie Bernard.
A spring memorial is being planned.