A funeral Mass for Mark Bernhard, 81 of Algona, will be held today (Thursday, Aug. 28) at 11 a.m. at St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Algona. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. Thursday until time of the Mass at the church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Algona.
Mark Maurice Bernhard, son of Maurice and Ella (Elsbecker) Bernhard, was born May 21, 1938, in Bancroft. He grew up on the family farm west of town and graduated from St. Johnís High School in 1956. Mark was a member of the Iowa Army National Guard from 1959 until 1965 serving with the B-Battery, 1-194th Field Artillery in Algona.
On Nov. 23, 1963, Mark was married to Barbara Kellner at St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Algona. They settled on a farm in Seneca Township where they produced livestock, cultivated crops and raised their family. Mark showed award-winning sheep and cattle at the Kossuth County Fair in the 1950s and continued to enjoy raising livestock for many years. He loved entertaining the grandchildren, golfing, fishing with ìMikeî and going to sales.
Mark was an early member of St. Johnís Parish and after attending Cursillo and Life in the Spirit Seminars he worked with priests on Rural Life and Pro Life projects. He single-handedly raised funds for a billboard near the Algona Sale Barn to save babies. He will be remembered as a good and honest man who loved to argue with a constant smile on his face.
Retirement to Algona was a big change for Mark but decidedly necessary and so in March of 2013, the move was made. He appreciated coffee time at the doughnut shop and playing cribbage. He quickly adapted to parish life at St. Ceceliaís helping with funeral dinners and church projects when able. Mark had an active prayer life, saying the Rosary, reading his Bible daily and attending many masses and prayer meetings. Mark was instrumental in having the Lundstroms come to Algona and he was a faithful supporter of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). He also supported the Carmelite Nuns of South Dakota and the Priests of St. Lawrence Seminary in Mt. Calvary, Wis.
Mark entered Good Samaritan Society in Algona on Dec. 17, 2018. He went to his Heavenly Reward on Aug. 24, 2019, at the age of 81.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara of Algona; three children, Alan Bernhard of Bancroft, Dr. Judy Wardenburg and her husband Brad of Williamsburg and Andy Bernhard of Burt; and three grandchildren, Calista Rose Bernhard and Luke and Joshua Bernhard. He is also survived by two brothers, Dave (Darlene) Bernhard of Britt and Bill (Marilyn) Bernhard of Bancroft; a sister, Mary Celeste (Bill) Goche of Fairmont, Minn.; a sister-in-law, Pat Bernhard of Bancroft; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his mother and father-in-law, Matt and Kate Bormann; an infant son and daughter, Joseph Mark and Joan Marie; his daughter-in-law, Kim (Pedelty) Bernhard; two brothers, Phil and Paul Bernhard; a sister-in-law, Ersel (Bierle) Bernhard; three nephews, Daniel, Kenny, and Greg Bernhard; and a niece, Brenda Vaske.
Oakcrest Funeral Services of Algona is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.oakcrestfuneralservices.com.