BERNHARDT, Harry James
Harry James Bernhardt went home to be with his Lord and Savior in heaven on December 3, 2013. He was born January 12, 1932 in Tampa, Kansas. He is survived by his wife Mildred, daughter Tamra and her husband David, daughter Lori and her dear friend Solomon Hapshie, and Grandson Mason.
Harry grew up in a large family on a farm. After all the chores were done he and his siblings played sports for fun. Harry had a knack for playing sports and grew to be a superb athlete. He excelled in basketball, baseball, softball, and wrestling. He was very popular in school due to his exuberant athletic ability; he had tremendous concentration ability no matter what sport he was playing at the time. Harry had a competitive spirit but balanced it out with a fun loving attitude, wit, charm and a great smile. As many young adults growing up in the 50's, he joined the military. The United States Air Force
was his choice for twenty years and he worked in the capacity of a Medic. His softball career continued to flourish during this time. At one point, he was on three different teams at once. Softball team managers from out of town cities would call and beg him to play for their team to help them win their championships. The military allowed him to travel with his wife Mildred and their children for twenty years all over the 50 great states, Guam, Taiwan, Hawaii and many other places. After his retirement from the military, he and the family settled in Austin. He felt he was too young to retire so he started job hunting and was employed with the Texas Department of Health for another 20 years. He enjoyed his job as a Public Health Investigator. During his tenure there he met co-workers and lasting friendships were formed. After those twenty years had passed and he retired, he kept himself busy as a newspaper carrier for the Austin American Statesman, school bus driver, loved fishing, and piddled a lot in the yard at home. To the last breath he took, he was showing Mildred, Tamra, Lori and his Grandson Mason how much he loved them and appreciated them for everything they did to make his life easier.
Harry was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis and had a serious heart condition. The family would like to thank Jordan S. Weingarten, M.D., and his staff at Pulmonary Critical Care in Austin. The family would also like to say thank you to David W. Terreson, M.D. and his Senior Medical Assistant John Maya of Cardio Texas. The family recognizes that these folks deserve high praise and thanks for all they did to make Harry's life easier. Without them, he would not have had the quality life he lived for the previous five years. Thank you to Ryan Warren and his family of Bastrop, for their special care and the love shown to our family during Dad's illness. Mary J. Hapshie and Louis M. Hapshie of Pflugerville were so helpful to us when we needed to transition Dad from his chair to his hospital bed at home and we had no help. We could not have done it without both of you and we know you were sent to us by Heaven that day. Thank you to our family friend Paul Clay of Temple for supporting Dad and stepping up to love and support us during the caretaking phase. Thank you for loving this family the very special way that you always do. Paul, you will always be our 2nd Dad. Vernette Arriens of New Ulm and Casey Tausch of Bastrop (our best girlfriends), David Mascorro and Solomon Hapshie the loves of our lives, thank you for your continued love and support. Thank you for running errands, grocery shopping, helping with every aspect of decision making that needed to be made when we were too tired and couldn't make them. We are blessed to have all these people taking care of dad and us during this difficult time. Simply put, you all have been our Angels and there are not enough words to express the love we feel for each of you and we will be thanking you for the rest of our lives. Most of all, thank you mom for loving us unconditionally. You keep us in check and we know there is/was always so much love given to us from you and dad. You are both the loves of our lives too and always will be.
Visitation will be 6:00-8:00pm Thursday, December 5, 2013. Funeral Services are 2:30pm Friday, December 6, 2013 at Bastrop Providence Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery.