Bernard “Bernie” Joseph KOELZER

After an amazing effort dealing with an unforgiving cancer and during the night of Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2003, Bernie began a new journey — A Journey To Heaven.

Bernie was surrounded at all times by his family and friends during his final days and hours. He felt peaceful knowing he was loved, admired and respected by all who had the honour of knowing him.

Bernie was born March 29, 1935 in Herford, Texas and attended Lazbuddie Jr. High in Texas. He went on to Montour Fall, New York and then to New York State University where he received a BA degree in Philosophy and in Theology. Bernie finished his MA degree at a Catholic University in Washington DC. He went on to teach at Graymoor in Garrison New York and at Lewis College in Illinois. He later moved to Seattle where he taught for 2 years. He then moved to Chilliwack and became an instructor for B.C.I.T. in Burnaby until he retired in 1998.

Bernie is lovingly remember and will be sadly missed by his wife Ginny and it is with deep sadness that I have to announce the sudden and shocking passing of my beloved, darling husband, grandfather and friend. He is survived by our 3 children; Debbie Spencer and our 3 beautiful grandchildren, James, Katie, Kristen and their dad, Jim Spencer. Leo (Kim) and sweet little Jack Leo of Kamloops. Paula (Bradley) and 3 precious grandchildren Amanda, Nicholas and Adam of Nova Scotia. Bernie is survived by his family in Texas – 3 sisters; Judy from Hub, Texas, Dorothy from Amarillo, Texas, and Evelyn from Hereford, Texas, and 3 brothers; James of Dalhart; Texas, Jerry of Wheeler, Texas and David of Satanta, Kansas. He was treasured by all his siblings. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Bob (Marie) Nunn whom he dearly loved and had many hours of fun together. Bernie was predeceased by his parents Ben and Elizabeth and his brother Dan.

Everyone who knew Bernie remembered him as a loving caring and compassionate person. Bernie always made us laugh and made us feel special. He was often generous to a fault but there was always a twinkle in his eye and great warmth in his soul. Bernie possessed a unique gift. He was always able to see “the silver lining” and looked beyond the clouds. Bernie profoundly touched the hearts of many.

Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Mary’ Roman Catholic Church, Tuesday, October 14, 2003 at 10:00 am with Father Gary Gordon celebrant. Interment at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Sardis. If friends so desire donations can be made in Bernie’s name to the Canadian Cancer Society.

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