Bernard “Bernie” Joseph, 61, of Elburn, passed away at his home on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012.
He was born June 17, 1951, in St. Charles, the son of Bernard Sr. and Delores Joseph.
Bernie grew up in St. Charles and attended St. Patrick Catholic Schools. He graduated from St. Charles High School with the class of 1969.
Bernie met the love of his life when he was a senior. Sandra “Sandy” Charles transferred in as a junior, and it wasn’t long until he made his move by sending roses to her home. Sandy felt obliged to say thank you in person, stealing his heart in the process. Bernie and Sandy quickly became inseparable, walking down the aisle three years later on April 21, 1973.
They began their new life together in Batavia, while they built a home in Elburn. In 1977, they welcomed home their son Dan shortly before moving into their new home. Two years later, a daughter, Amy, made their family complete.
A million memories were made and shared with family and friends for the next many years until a tragic fire took their home but not their hearts. The community came together, and after incredible support from special friends and family, they rebuilt a home using the strength born of community spirit unique to small towns like Elburn.
Right after graduating from high school, Bernie began working in the construction trade. After 15 years, Bernie left Imperial Components as a plant manager and spent more time with his growing children, introducing them to a life of serving the needs of a community that was growing, as well. It was an excellent opportunity to “pay it forward” after receiving so many blessings the years before.
Bernie was a deeply dedicated member of the Elburn Lions Club, where he was everything from “chief cook and bottle washer,” to manning the barbecue pits and chairing large events, including the annual senior citizen dinner, not to mention participating in the annual Elburn Days parade and carnival. He was also a member of Ducks Unlimited for many years.
Bernie’s home was always the one the neighborhood kids flocked to as they recognized the “kid inside” that was never too far from the surface. He always enjoyed every holiday, but Halloween was especially sweet. Not only were the best treats to be had at the Joseph house, but also the best tricks as Bernie loved to scare unsuspecting trick or treaters every year.
He was an outdoorsman at heart and loved to spend time at the family farm in Missouri. Bernie loved to hunt with his son Dan, and every season he left for the woods, though never without the good luck charm given to him by his daughter Amy.
There was never a heart that beat so strong for his fellow man. Bernie dedicated years of service to his community, many of them through the Elburn Lions Club, and found that the definition of “family” was not limited to those related by blood. The real definition of family to Bernie was those with a common goal and a common heart, helping people regardless of race or creed.
He was a loving father and husband. Even though years were stolen from him, Bernie leaves behind a legacy of love, friendship and community spirit that lives on in all those he loved.
He is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Sandy; two children, Dan (Koreen) Joseph and their daughters, Aley and Andrea of Evans, Colo., and Amy (Brian Robie) Joseph and their son, Nolan, of North Aurora; mother, Delores Stuart of Walden, Ark.; four siblings, Glen Joseph, Terry Van Sickle, Penny Strange and Chris Stewart; many loving in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and a community of friends.
He is preceded in death by his father, Bernard Sr., and three siblings, Michael Joseph, Thomas Joseph and William Stewart.
Visitation, followed by a remembrance service, was held on Tuesday at the Elburn Lions Club, 500 Filmore St., Elburn.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Bernie’s name to benefit his favorite charities, including the Elburn Lions Club. Checks may be made to the “Bernard Joseph Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.
Arrangements were handled with care by Conley Funeral Home.