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Bernard (Bernie) Wolf Mandel, 91, of Niceville, Fla., passed away peacefully on Sept. 26 2013. He was the husband of Shirley (Blitz) Mandel.
Born in New York, N.Y., on April 22, 1922, to Bertha (Greenberg) and Edward Mandel, he met his best friend and future bride at the tender age of 13. From then on, with the exception of World War II and an occasional overnight business trip, the two were inseparable until his passing.
Bernie was educated in the Bronx, training as an electrician, but when duty called, he served his country in the Army, rising to the rank of Technical Sergeant. In the army, he specialized in the disarming of mines, volunteering for assignments that resulted in saving 15 wounded men and earning him a Bronze Star and two Oak Leaf Clusters.
Returning home in 1945 Bernie quickly started what he always considered his most important endeavor, his family. Within a few years, he saw the opportunity to buy into a precision engraving and fabrication business. He quickly became President of Mechani-cal Engraving Co., Inc. (later Meco Precision Industries Inc.) which he successfully ran until his retirement.
In 1949, he and Shirley purchased their first home, in Bayside, N.Y., where they raised their three children. When the children were grown, they built a home in Putnam Valley, N.Y., and later moved to Florida, living in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, and finally Niceville.
Bernie loved spending time reading, fishing, doing volunteer work, traveling and spending time with family. He was an avid his-tory buff, especially the Civil War, and enjoyed car trips, where he could never pass up an historical marker (to which he referred as "hysterical" markers).
In addition to his wife of 71 years, Bernie is survived by two sons, Jeffrey and his wife, Suzanne of Gaylordsville, Conn., and Ed-ward and his wife, Adela, of Niceville, with whom he lived the last 4 years of his life. In addition, he is survived by nine grandchil-dren: Matthew (and Casey) and Paul (and Christine) Bernold, James Mandel (and fiancée Tracy), Tina (and Andrew) Gottshall, David and Richard (and Tracey) Wermuth, David (and Becca) and Deborah Mandel, and Rachel (and Eric) Luoma; 11 great-grandchildren: Taylor, Krista, Julia, James Jr., Kaitlyn, David, Carly, Richard Jr., Jacob, Matthew and Sarah; many nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends; and his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Anita and Wally Blitz, whom he considered sister and brother to him.
He is predeceased by a daughter, Linda; and four sisters and brothers-in-law: Ruth (and George) Hessel, Sally (and Milton) Cohen, Lilly Mandel and Evelyn (and Nathan) Sabell.
Services will be held at the Emerald Coast Funeral Home in Fort Walton Beach on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, with interment to fol-low at Beal Cemetery. Expressions of love and sympathy may be posted or viewed at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers donations in his honor may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or Temple Beth Shalom, Fort Walton Beach, FL.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Sept. 29, 2013
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
113 Racetrack Road Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547