Bernard Frank “Bernie”, “Hardy” Hartinger
Bernard Frank Hartinger died in his bed at home on the Chilliwack River on February 7, 2015 after a lengthy illness (49 years) of Multiple Sclerosis, at age 76. His last 16 years were spent as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair or bed. Bernie was born in Grand Forks, BC on June 15, 1938 to Frank and Erma (Spiller) Hartinger. His only sibling Frances was 9 years older. Bernie’s great grandfather (1861-1924) had the Grand Forks Hotel built in 1907. His parents owned and operated the Grand Forks Hotel until they sold it in 1944. Bernie’s primary and secondary education was in Grand Forks and his post secondary education was in Nelson, BC at Notre Dame College. Sometimes when a person put on “airs” Bernie would tell them that he graduated from Notre Dame College with a “BAC” (Bounced At Christmas in his 2nd year). Bernie and Ruth deWilde were married in 1962. They had three beautiful children together before Ruth died while celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary in Vancouver. He is survived by his three children, Catherine, Peter and Rick (Diana), four grandchildren, Kristina, Christopher (Natalie), Samantha (Peter) and Alicia (Chris); three great grandchildren, Kylie, Ryan and Marley. Bernie is also survived and missed immensely by his wife of 31 years Gail Bell and their two dogs Victor/Victoria and Repita. Bernie was predeceased by his parents Frank (1980) and Erma (1995) Hartinger; sister Frances (1981) and first wife Ruth (1982). Hardy (Bernie) worked in Grand Forks, Prince George, Quesnel and Trail. In his mining career Hardy worked in open pit or underground mines at Jedway Iron Ore (Queen Charlotte Islands), Brynnor Mines, Boss Mountain Div. (Hendrix Lake near 100 Mile house), Granisle Copper (Babine Lake) and Similkameen Mining Co. (Princeton). Hardy, Ruth and their children made their home in most of Hardy’s career moves. During his career Hardy had a variety of jobs from electrician’s helper, welder’s helper, auto body apprentice, dump truck driver, D9 cat skinner, backhoe and loader operator, chief surveyor, heavy duty truck driver, shift supervisor and mine general foreman. In 1986 Bernie had to quit his general foreman job in Princeton due to the progression of MS. In 1989 Bernie and Gail moved to Chilliwack. In 1990 they moved to their home the beautiful Chilliwack River Valley. Bernie enjoyed travelling within Canada, USA, Barbados and Mexico. He shoots, he scored! – In hockey, curling, basketball, baseball, in hunting, fishing, camping, water skiing, in photography, and in computer photo repair. In the Grand Forks Gazette newspaper: * March 23, 1954 – With 5 min left in the game Bernie Hartinger scored on a difficult shot. Bernie Hartinger, always a strong-man for the team, showed his ability at playing both ways on the ice, attacking and defending well. Assists were given Fred Fedorak and Bernie Hartinger for Morris’s goal. * March 24, 1955 – B. Hartinger (def)…GP-20 G-7 A-23 TP-30 PIM -6. * Year-End Round-Up HARTINGER TOPS – Turning to the individual members of the team, the coach labeled Bernard Hartinger as the best “all around sport” and hardest working member of the Flyers. *March 9, 1961 – Grand Forks Curlers take most prizes at Greenwood weekend ‘spiel. Bus Wilkins and his rink of Wm. Sookochoff Jr., Bernard Hartinger and Jim Henniger took the “A” event with the Greenwood Curling Club Trophy. Whatever Bernie did he usually did well. Wherever Bernie went he made friends. Everybody loved Bernie. His numerous old and new friends miss his sense of adventure, his unique sense of humour and his jokes – “Shoulda bought a hat Bert, shoulda boughta hat.” In friends’ own words Bernie was Hardy, loyal, friendly, honest, competitive, compassionate, intelligent, funny, stubborn, sensitive, sentimental, strong, self determined, persevering and gentle-hearted. Bernie was a man of integrity. He touched so many of our lives in a positive way. Bernie was a social democrat with NDP stickers attached to his wheelchair. Bernie was phenomenal at driving and parallel parking his chin-operated wheelchair. The following are Bernie’s written words…”This is a beautiful valley. Living along the river is great. The sound of the river lulls us to sleep at night. We get a beautiful view of the river and the mountain from our deck. Ducks, geese, herons, eagles, deer, the odd bear and once a young cougar was 25 ft up our neighbour’s cedar tree. Years ago we had an old raccoon visit us every night on the front deck. We even had a mother opossum with her baby living under our shed. Quite often we hear coyotes in the far distance. While out walking the dogs one morning in the park, Gail took photos of a beaver travelling on foot down a little stream. The beaver was about 10 ft away from her.” “In the winter we put bird seed on the deck railing. The Steller’s Jay, the Varied Thrush and a squirrel get the east railing and the Juncos, Chickadees, Sparrows and the Rufous-sided Towhees get the west railing. Yesterday Gail and I saw 2 adult Bald Eagles flying together up river. We also have a Heron who seems to have claimed the river in front of our place. When the salmon are running, the sky above the river is alive with the sight and sound of many birds. We do live in a paradise. What more can we ask for?” There will be no service by request. Donations made to Bernie’s charity The Stephen Lewis Foundation, would be appreciated.
Farewell Bernie…until we meet again.