Bernard Mason Satterwhite (Bernie), age 94, died peacefully in his room at Hartman Village Assisted Living Facility in Boonville, Mo. on Monday, Dec 7, 2015.
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Bernie was born in Spotsylvania County, near the small town of Beaverdam, Virginia on April 24, 1921. His parents, Joseph W. and Mary S. (Tompkins) Satterwhite were sharecroppers who managed to provide for he and his four older brothers and sisters by farming a small plot of land in rural Virginia. Bernie lost his father when he was only four years old. As a result, his mother and older brother had to provide for the family during a time when there were few, if any, government assistance programs. The environment of hard work and family he grew up in formed the ethic that followed him throughout his long life.
After high school, Bernie, in search of a better life, headed west. Not knowing where he was going, or what he would do when he got there, he stumbled upon a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in western Virginia. He served in the "C's" for the next two years, performing all types of forestry work and learning to operate heavy trucks and equipment. After that, he joined the Navy in 1942 and served on the destroyer USS Decatur, patrolling the eastern seaboard, as well as the Caribbean and North Atlantic. He saw extensive action in the form of enemy U-boat and air activity. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in November 1945.
After WWII, Bernie headed west again, this time to Kansas City, Mo. In 1947, starting with virtually nothing, he found his way into the Kansas City garment industry where he started as a piece good spreader and cutter, eventually working his way up the corporate ladder into management. He also owned his own garment binding business and routinely worked many hours at that after putting in a full day's work in his primary job. On September 1, 1962, he wed the former Martha Watts, of Boonville. Martha and Bernie worked together in the garment industry in Kansas City until their retirement in 1986. After retirement they moved to Martha's hometown of Boonville, Mo where they lived out the rest of their days. Since Martha's death a year ago, Bernie has lived at Hartmann Village where he was beloved by staff and residents alike.
Bernie is survived by children Martha Ann Kivett, Stuart M. (Barbara) Satterwhite, Nancy (Owen) Yates, Pamela Kessel, and Bernard M. (Patricia) Satterwhite, Jr.; grandchildren Laurie Carnohan, Alissa (Jeff) Faircloth, Brian (Maria) Satterwhite, Cari Satterwhite, Amanda (Brian) Cooper, Gary M. (Cynthia) Kivett, Robert A. Stephens, Bridget Stephens, and Patrick Stephens; and numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grand-children. Bernie was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Floyd and Irvin and sisters Ruby and Ruth, his beloved wife of 52 years, Martha E. Satterwhite, son James Allen Stephens and granddaughter Debbie (Stephens) Maze.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 11, 2015 at 11 a.m., at the Boonesboro Christian Church in Boonesboro, Mo., with the Rev. Thomas Meyers officiating. Burial will follow the service at the church cemetery. The family will greet friends at the church on Friday at 10 a.m. until the service begins.
Bernie's entire family would like to extend gratitude to all the staff at Hartmann Village Assisted Living Facility for their attentiveness and loving care. Memorials are suggested to the Boonesboro Cemetery Association, in care of Boonesboro Christian Church.
Bernie was a friend to nearly everyone he came into contact with. He loved people, and he loved life, and he was truly "Young at Heart."
Davis Funeral Chapel Inc
1397 W Ashley Rd
Boonville, MO 65233
Published in Boonville Daily News from Dec. 8 to Dec. 15, 2015