Marvin David “Shorty” Bernhardt was born Feb. 7, 1942, at Hillsboro. He was the oldest son of David and Lydia Bernhardt. The family lived on a farm west of Lincolnville and he started school there. His brother, Sam, was born in 1948. When Marvin was about 8 years old, they moved to Marion.
When Marvin was 11, his father died. In 1960, his mother married B.J. Cross, and Marvin gained a step-father.
He quit school after his sophomore year to go to work.
He was baptized in the Lutheran church at Lincolnville. He joined the Methodist church at Antelope, then transferred his membership to Valley United Methodist Church at Marion when the Antelope church closed.
On Oct. 18, 1959, he married Helen Louise Weathers at the Antelope Methodist Church. They lived in a trailer in Antelope and Marvin worked in the oilfields for Slusser Drilling Company.
The couple moved to Marion and lived in a little house on Roosevelt. When Helen was pregnant with their first child, they moved to a home east of Lincolnville. Dan was born in April 1961. They moved to Antelope, then back to a house on Santa Fe in Marion. Second son, Dennis, was born in December 1962. The family moved to the McHenry farm southwest of Marion and daughter, Diane, was born in 1968. They then moved back to Marion and lived in a home on Roosevelt St. In 1970, they moved to their current home in Canada.
Marvin began his career as a truck driver at the old alfalfa mill north of Marion.
He drove for various companies, including Tip Top Dairy, Turtle Top, Tollie Freightways, Reynolds Aluminum, B&N Trucking, Becker Trucking and J.L. Unruh Trucking LLC.
Throughout his career, the kids remember him hauling oil, jet fuel, rock, watermelons, onions, big round spools of aluminum, recyclable paper, liquid sugar, trailers, and grain. His favorite job was hauling oil.
In 2009, his health forced him to retire from J.L. Unruh Trucking after 27 years. They celebrated his retirement last year with a dinner and presented him with a copper wall-hanging of a semi.
After his retirement, he spent a lot of time sitting on his porch, watching the trucks go by on the highway or during harvest, watching the grain trucks go through town to the elevator.
Not content just watching the trucks go by, he went back to work briefly last summer, hauling grain again for J.L. Unruh. Grandson Colton Jeffrey rode with him, helping open traps and roll tarps on the trailer.
He enjoyed spending time with his family, and when the grandkids were involved in sports, he was an avid fan, attending as many basketball and baseball games as he could. Pop B, as the great-grandkids called him, liked watching them ride their bikes and play in the yard when they came out.
Marvin entered St. Luke Hospital the morning of Aug. 18 and was transported to Newton Medical Center that afternoon. He died there Aug. 19.
Survivors include his wife, Helen; son, Dan, and his wife, Sue, of Hillsboro; son, Dennis, and his wife, Donna, of Marion; and daughter, Diane, and her husband, Mike Jeffrey, of Marion; grandchildren, Chris and Mandi Bernhardt and Kevin Bernhardt of Hillsboro; Jamie and Mike Norris of Glen Allen, Va.; Jessica and Tyson Heidebrecht of Omaha, Neb.; Clinton and Tiffany Jeffrey of Marion; Calvin Jeffrey and Danielle White of Salina; and Colton Jeffrey and Cheyenne Jeffrey of Marion. Great-grandchildren include Blane and Bradi Bernhardt, Aiden Allen and Lanie Rogers, Mitchell, Addison, and Oliver Norris, Jaden Windholz, Breckyn Jeffrey, and week-old Liam David Jeffrey. He is also survived by his brother, Sam, and his wife, Kathy, of Marion, and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, David and Lydia Bernhardt, and step-father, B.J. Cross.
Visitation was from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Zeiner Funeral Home, Marion.
Funeral services were at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hillsboro United Methodist Church, with Morita Truman and Suzie Talbot officiating. Music was provided by Rafael Noriega.
Casket bearers were the grandchildren, Chris and Kevin Bernhardt, Jamie Norris, Jessica Heidebrecht, and Clinton, Calvin, Colton, and Cheyenne Jeffrey.
Burial was in Lincolnville Cemetery.
Memorial funds have been established at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Valley United Methodist Church of Marion.