Orville Bruce “Bruce” Bernard, 80, of Eau Claire, passed away April 17 at BeeHive Homes of Eau Claire.
Bruce was born October 17, 1941 to Orville and Marjorie (Morrison) Bernard in Elk River, MN, where he lived for most of his childhood. After a family move to River Falls, WI, he graduated in 1959 from River Falls. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Eau Claire where he farmed and resided until his death.
He dairy farmed with his parents until they both passed away in 1975. Bruce continued to operate the dairy farm until 1978 when he decided to crop farm and sold the cows. In 1982 he bought and remodeled a house one mile north of the dairy farm and built a grain bin storage facility down the road from the house. He sold the dairy farm, but continued crop farming from his new homestead.
On August 20, 1983, Bruce married the love of his life, Leila Koosmann. They settled down on the homestead to continue the crop farming operation and raise their family. Less than 11 months after their marriage, their daughter arrived and their son a few years later. Bruce was happy to raise his children on the farm that was so important to him. One of his greatest joys was that his daughter and son-in-law have taken over the farm. This ensures that his farming legacy will continue and his grandchildren will be raised on that farm.
Bruce loved attending farm shows and informational meetings about farming; as well as reading newspapers and magazines. He was a Seed Dealer selling Pride and Northrup King seed through the years. He was a longtime member of Farm Bureau and lifetime member of the FFA Alumni. He was on the board of directors for the Eau Claire Co-Op for many years, was a board member when Crossroads Ag. was formed, and involved with the introduction of ethanol grain facilities to the greater Chippewa Valley. He was, also, a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, in Eau Claire.
Due to declining health from Alzheimer’s, Bruce has lived at BeeHive Homes since January 2020. The family would like to express their deepest love and appreciation to the staff of BeeHive Homes and Moments Hospice. There were many caregivers that loved him like their own grandpa and we can never thank you all enough for that!
Bruce was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone that needed it. He was quick to tease those that he loved. A kinder man could not be found! He will be dearly missed by his wife, Leila; his children, Krystle (Steve) Mayer and Adam Bernard; grandchildren, Michael and Grace Mayer; one brother, Robert Bernard; nephew, Chad Bernard; niece, Carolynne (Neil) Thomas; great-niece, Savannah Thomas; special sister-in-law, Linda Mogensen; many other in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials would be preferred and will be used toward donations to various agricultural organizations.
Funeral services will be held for Bruce at 11 am Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at St Matthew Lutheran Church, 1915 Hogeboom Ave, Eau Claire. Visitation will be held at 4-7pm on Monday, April 25, 2022 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 Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Interment will be at McCombs Cemetery, Town of Wheaton.
Online condolences may be shared at www.lenmarkfh.com.
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