The family of Earl Bernst (96 years young) are deeply saddened to announce his sudden passing in the early morning hours of November 11th. Earl was the last survivor of eight children born to Edward and Rose Bernst. Earl was born in Nokomis Saskatchewan and spent his childhood years on the farm in Saskatchewan until his family moved to Murillo in 1935. Always a farm boy at heart, Earl, nonetheless, chose to enlist in the Navy as soon as he turned 18 in 1941. Earl spent three years (1942-1945) engaged in the Battle of the Atlantic. He was stationed on a Corvette, most often sailing from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Londonderry, Ireland escorting convoys across the North Atlantic. Following the war, Earl continued to sail in the Merchant Marine where he travelled extensively visiting ports in every imaginable corner of the globe. Earl eventually returned to Fort William where he met Florence Franick and when Florence agreed to be his wife, Earl’s sailing days were over. Together they built their home on Begin Street where they raised their three sons and where Earl lived until the day he died. Unsurprisingly after his service in the Navy, Earl chose a career as a first responder joining the Fort William fire department in 1955. Earl then spent 32 years as a firefighter, retiring as a platoon chief. Earl enjoyed simple pleasures. His definition of a good time was spending time with his family at holiday gatherings. He doted on his grandchildren and beamed proudly upon hearing and/or describing any of their accomplishments. His best days were spent at his camp at Shebandowan with his family. Earl loved to fish and was a skilled horseshoe player who rarely lost a game.
Earl was predeceased by his parents, Rose and Edward, his brothers: Clarence, Ronnie, Charlie, Albert, Harry, Allan and his sister Bernice. Earl is survived by his wife Florence and three sons: Douglas, Rick (Lynda), Glenn (Mary Ann), his grandchildren Meagan Kennedy, Ali Derlago, Taylor Bernst, Alexander Bernst, Julia Bernst and numerous nieces and nephews.
The Bernst family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Cappello and her staff, as well as, Dr. Anthes and the staff at Regional Cancer Care Northwest for their care and empathy throughout his illnesses.
A funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday November 18, 2019 in the chapel of Sargent & Son Funeral Home, 21 N. Court Street. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cancer Society, The Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society. Online condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com.