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Leila Marie (Koosmann) Bernard, 76, of Eau Claire, passed away January 18 at her home.
Leila was born January 19, 1947 to Wilhelm and Frieda (Bonitz) Koosmann in Mellen, WI. She was eighth
in a family of nine children that were raised on a small dairy farm in the north woods. As a child she
loved to be outside picking berries or mushrooms, fishing, helping in the garden, or making "mud pies."
She preferred milking cows to helping with housework. She graduated from Mellen High School in 1965.
After she graduated, she lived and worked in a variety of places. Many of her jobs were for government
offices, and when a reduction would happen in one office, she was willing to move and work in a
different office. Through the years she worked at multiple ASCS (now FSA) offices, multiple Forest
Service offices, the Job Corps, and a few others. She, also, owned a gift shop named Leila's in her
hometown for a few years. Her jobs always included doing some kind of bookkeeping. She loved to
"juggle paperwork" and balance checkbooks.
On August 20, 1983, Leila married the love of her life, Bruce Bernard. She moved to Eau Claire to live
with him on the homestead he had purchased. There they successfully ran a crop farming operation and
raised their family. Less than 11 months after their marriage, their daughter arrived and their son a few
years later. Being a farm girl that married a farm boy, she was happy to raise her children on the farm.
The farm allowed her to be home to raise her children and continue doing bookkeeping. When the
weather was nice, the bookwork got put on hold so she could keep her lawn "manicured."
She loved her bookwork and lawn-mowing, but her children were her world, so Leila spent a lot of time
volunteering with the PTA at the schools her children attended. She found joy in being a "room mother"
and helping on field trips. She was an active member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. She
volunteered with many of the church activities that involved the children and youth of the church. She
loved all children and always had an open hand for any child on a field trip or during a church activity, as
long as she wasn't holding a baby. Before having her own children, she spent lots of time with all of her
nieces and nephews and she loved and supported many of her children's friends through the years. Her
arms, heart, and home were always open to any child that needed anything. She was overjoyed when
she was blessed with grandchildren of her very own! She loved helping care for them and spending time
In her later years, Leila struggled with her mental health. She had some wonderful caretakers from
Cornerstone Caregiving. We can never thank you enough for everything you did for her, especially the
day that we lost her! In remembrance of Leila, check on your loved ones!
Leila will be forever missed by many, but especially her children, Krystle (Steve) Mayer and Adam
Bernard; grandchildren, Michael and Grace Mayer; brother, Ken Koosmann; sisters, Shirley Heglund,
Sylvia Heglund, Ruth Josephson, and Joyce (Dave) Kaseno; sisters-in-law, Joyce Koosmann and Annette
Koosmann; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bruce; her parents; brothers, Lloyd Koosmann, Norbert
Koosmann, and Don Koosmann; in-laws, Mary Koosmann, Al Heglund, Jack Heglund, and Al Josephson; a
very special nephew, Jeff Koosmann; her nephew and Godson, Jason Koosmann; a great-niece, Melissa
Koosmann; and great-nephews, Andrew DeGroot and Tyler Tampio.
Funeral services will be held for Leila at 11 am Friday, January 26, 2024 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church,
1915 Hogeboom Avenue, Eau Claire. Visitation will be held from 4-7 pm on Thursday, January 25, 2024
at the WEST CHAPEL location of Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral Home, 1405 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau
Claire. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday, January 26, 2024.
Interment will be at McCombs Cemetery, Town of Wheaton. Online condolences for Leila's family may be left at www.lenmarkfh.com.