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Published by Remembering You Always, 2016-10-18 15:39:36

Bernard Coffey

Bernard Coffey

Bernard M. Coffey

Beloved Husband, Father

and Grandfather

Bernard Milton Coffey

Born July 22, 1935 in a small farm house next to the mouse river outside
of Sherwood, North Dakota, Bernard Milton Coffey was the third eldest of seven
children by James and Helen Coffey.

From a very young age, Bernard assisted his father with the duties of the
family farm. It was a time during the dust bowl days where life was hard and little to
be made. At 17 years of age and looking for ways to financially help his family,
Bernie joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, along with his cousin Lou, where they
built bridges, dams, roads and cabins in the Arkansas State Park.

A year later, at the end of his service in the Conservation Corps, Bernie and
Lou returned home to a region with little opportunities. A short while later, they
headed for Minot, North Dakota where they waited outside the train yard for a freight
train where they ran and caught the side of it and pulled themselves to the top.
There the journey began of hopping freight trains in search of work across the
Pacific Northwest. Although the adventure produced little in opportunities, Bernier-
eturned home rich in stories and unique understanding, compassion, and caring for
his fellow man, which would remain with him until his last days.

In 1957, Bernie was hired by Donald Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica where
he worked on the assembly line building aircraft for the military. After established,
he sent for his neighbor and sweetheart, Vivian Leigh Archer and they were married
on June 28, 1962 and lived in Bismarck until his passing.

Bernard took a job as a construction supervisor building single family
homes in the greater North Dakota area and obtained his general contractors license
in 1964.

Bernie and Vivian joined Holy Grace Church where he used his construction
skills to help build the church. As a testament to his compassion and caring, when
the time came for the church to purchase its organ, Bernie did not have enough
money for his portion of the cost. He went to the local bank, obtained a loan and
gave the money to the church. The banker knew that any man who would do this
would repay a loan.

In 1966, Bernie and Vivian had a daughter, Katherine. It was a household
of happiness. Bernie and Katherine shared a very close relationship. They shared
hobbies like remote control airplanes and boats, go-kart racing, dirt bike riding,
camping, hunting and fishing. Bernard loved airplanes and through his love, Kathy
took flying lessons at 14 years of age. Although she was too young to obtain a
license at 14, by her late teens she had obtained her pilot licenses and she, Bernie
and Vivian would enjoy flying around the country.

From a very young age Kathy would work with her father on various
construction projects and after college the work became full time. Bernie and Kathy
so enjoyed their friendship which had now grown into a partnership, developing
office buildings, shopping centers, apartment buildings and single family custom
homes. Bernard never did retire.

He also never forgot what it was like to be so hungry during those
Depression years when he had hopped freight trains looking for work across the
Pacific Northwest. Because of his experiences, it was not uncommon to find him
personally helping needy people with food or clothing.

Bernard was a unique, gentle, kind soul. He will be deeply missed.

In Loving Memory

Bernard M. Coffey

July 22, 1935
Sherwood, North Dakota

October 13, 2016
Bismarck, North Dakota

Graveside Service
October 16, 2005, 9:00 AM

Pines Memorial
Bismarck, North Dakota

Memorial Service
October 16, 2005, 11:00 AM

Holy Grace Church
Bismarck, North Dakota

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, Who art in heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power,

and the glory, for ever and ever.

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