Max Bernard lived a full and generous life defined by service and love. He was born in Walthill, Nebraska on November 14, 1925 to Guy and Veigh (Boughn) Bernard. He spent his young life in Ponca, Nebraska and graduated from high school there in 1943. That same year, he enlisted in the Navy and trained as a medic in Idaho and California. He shipped out overseas and joined Easy Co 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine division, then fighting in Okinawa. Following the end of the war, his division was transferred to Peking, China. He was stationed there until his honorable discharge on August 6, 1946.
Max used his benefits from the G.I. Bill to attend Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska. While studying there, he met and fell in love with Rachel Hoefs. They married in 1950, and he graduated with his Bachelor’s degree. At that point, he began his career as a teacher, coach, and school administrator in Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska. In 1960,he and Rachel moved to Holyoke, Colorado where he was the Principal of Holyoke High School for 26 years. While his children Brad, Larry, and Marcia grew, Max guided and supported generations of Holyoke’s children through adolescence. He nurtured his community beyond the school as well; in the summers, he worked wheat harvests at the Amherst Co-op and helped the Sprague family with their corn harvest for many years. He was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church and served the church in many capacities. Max was a member the Holyoke Lions Club for over twenty years as well as a member of the Holyoke American Legion. Upon his retirement, he took up work at the Holyoke Golf Course and played there frequently with his friends and family. Max was a loyal Holyoke Dragon booster all of his life, and he was present for many of his teams’ wins and losses. Max was a vibrant storyteller, a stalwart friend, and a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Max was preceded in death by his parents, brother Bill Bernard, sister Renee Wertz, and granddaughter Hillary Bernard. He is survived by Rachel, his loving wife of 65 years, children Brad and (Laurie) Bernard of Timnath, Colorado, Larry and (Sharon) Bernard of Amherst, Colorado, and Marcia Bernard Dalton and (Shawn) of Holyoke, Colorado. He is also survived by his brothers Richard Bernard and Jack Bernard. His grandchildren Megan Bernard and husband Dan DeMoss of Chicago, Illinois, Jordan Bernard and boyfriend Josue Martinez of Holyoke, Colorado, and Trevor Dalton of Holyoke, Colorado each celebrate his life, as does his great-granddaughter Eleanor DeMoss. Max Bernard was a shining light in this small town and his life was a beacon for many fortunate people on the Great Plains.
Tennant Funeral Home & Crematory of Holyoke is in charge of arrangements.
Max B Bernard
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Last updated December 2017