David Louis Bernhard

September 4, 1929 — January 4, 2021

 

David L. Bernhard, 91 of Britt, passed away Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center in Mason City.

A private family funeral mass was held at 1 p.m. Jan. 8 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Britt with the Rev. Joseph Sevcik officiating. Burial followed at St. Benedict Cemetery with military rites by the Britt Veterans Ceremonial Unit. The service was livestreamed on the Cataldo Funeral Home Facebook page. Cataldo Funeral Home in Britt is in charge of arrangements.

A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Benedict Cemetery Maintenance Fund in care of St. Joseph Catholic Church Rectory, PO Box 38, Wesley, IA 50483-0038, or to the Bishop Garrigan Chapel Fund in care of Bishop Garrigan High School, 1224 N. McCoy St., Algona, IA 50511.

David Louis Bernhard, son of Maurice and Ella (Elsbecker) Bernhard, was born Sept. 4, 1929, in Bancroft. He grew up on the family farm west of town and graduated from St. John the Baptist Catholic High School in 1947. In his youth, he enjoyed playing baseball and was active in 4-H, which is how he met his future wife, Darlene Kohlhaas.

Dave and Darlene married on Sept. 12, 1951, in St. Joseph Catholic Church of Bode, just before he left to serve in the Army from 1951 to 1953. He was wounded in combat during the Korean Conflict and was awarded the Purple Heart. His active duty was completed at the Army base near Colorado Springs.

Following the service, Dave and Darlene returned to Iowa and farmed on two different farms near St. Joe, where they began raising their five children. In 1963, they purchased a farm by St. Benedict, where they lived for 51 years. 

Dave had a passion for farming – it was “in his blood.” Over his long career he expanded the farm operation: growing corn, soybeans and hay, and also raising hogs, sheep, feeder cattle and performance cattle. After partnering with two of his sons for a number of years, Dave retired in 2015, and he and Darlene moved to a senior living community in Britt.

As a long-time member of the St. Benedict Church, Dave was active in maintaining the church property, crossing the road with his tractor to plow snow or clean up storm damage. He was also a 4-H leader for many years and served on the Kossuth County Fair Board. Dave was an active member and president of the Iowa Beef Improvement Association.

Hunting was a lifelong interest that Dave shared with his father, brothers, sons and nephews. He also enjoyed fishing trips and was an avid Minnesota Twins fan. At family gatherings, he liked to play games and engage in a challenging discussion. The grandchildren were always excited when he let them drive the tractor or took them fishing or target shooting. 

Dave is survived by his wife of 69 years, Darlene; and his children, Robert (Deb) Bernhard of South Bend, Ind., Kathy (Mike) O’Neil of New Brighton, Minn., Steve (Dawn) Bernhard Algona and Becky Mattson of Sacramento, Calif.; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his sister, Mary Celeste (Bill) Goche of Fairmont, Minn.; sisters-in-law, Marilyn Bernhard and Patty Bernhard of Bancroft, Barbara Bernhard and Eleanor Kohlhaas of Algona; brother-in-law Rich Kohlhaas of Algona; along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his son, Daniel Bernhard; his parents; his mother and father-in-law, Connie and Susie Kohlhaas; a son-in-law, Randy Mattson; brothers Paul, Phil, Bill and Mark Bernhard; and brother-in-law Art Kohlhaas; as well as four sisters-in-law, two nieces and two nephews.

Cards may be sent to Darlene at the Summit House: 600 First St. NW, Apt. 107 E, Britt, IA 50423.

Cataldo Funeral Home: 641-843-3811, www.cataldofuneralhome.com.

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