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Bernard J. "Bernie" Myles died on December 31, 2012 at Virginia Hospital Center of congestive heart failure. He was born the 8th of 10 children on September 28, 1938 in Wheeling, W. VA to Thomas and Grace Neider Myles. "Butch" was a star athlete in football and baseball and graduated from Central HS. He joined the army after graduation and served two years in Germany as a Courts and Boards clerk. He was so skillful at handling court martials that the top officers solicited his advice, even though he had no legal training. Upon his return, he worked as a firefighter and EMT for the city of Wheeling. In 1968, Bernie moved to Washington, DC and found his true calling- he joined the Metropolitan Police Department as a police officer. The job was tailor made for him- he had compassion, a terrific sense of humor, and an innate sense of justice and fairness. He served seven years in the Youth Division handling arrests of juveniles. He was especially sympathetic to elderly victims of pocketbook snatches and would spend hours gaining the trust of defendants so they would give up the location where they ditched the purse in their runs from police. In most cases, the purse was returned with its contents intact. He cared and it showed. In 1975, Bernie was promoted to Detective Sergeant and assigned to 7D Detectives in Anacostia. His witty and humorous Roll Calls at 7D are legendary. He was a born leader and urged his men to always dig deeper in investigations - laziness and inefficiency were not part of his vocabulary. He meticulously checked alibis and many an individual was saved from a false charge by his attention to detail. Bernie expected diligence and effort in his investigators and when they did not perform to his expectations, he advised them to "use your head for something besides a hat rack." Bernie retired from the Police Dept. in 1988 and spent the next decade traveling the globe with his wife or friends. His trips included China, Australia, Honduras, Brazil, Paris and Amsterdam. In 2000, he purchased an apt. on the Intracoastal in Fort Lauderdale and officially became a "Snowbird." He participated in stage shows at Coral Ridge Towers portraying such characters as John Lennon and Tony Soprano in skits - he was always a huge hit. Bernie will be remembered for his wit, his larger-than-life personality and his loyalty to friends. Many people tried to match wits with him through the years but were left in the dust. He was truly a force to be reckoned with. To his many friends and family who loved him, he is unforgettable and will be greatly missed. He was devoted to his family and is survived by his wife of 22 years, Patricia Myles of Alexandria and three children: Jerry Myles (Dianet) of Centreville, VA, Jennifer Sitter (David) of Torrance, CA, Jeffrey Myles of Longview, WA and seven grandchildren. He is also survived by three brothers: Thomas Myles (Rosella) of Wheeling, Don Myles (Patricia) of Hendersonville, NC, Raymond Myles (Lee) of Addison, Illinois and three sisters: Mildred Myles of Wheeling, Betty Forrest (Leo) of New Philadelphia, Ohio and Ellen Lemmon (Bob) of Farmington, Missouri. A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, January 18 at 1 p.m. at St. Timothy's Catholic Church, 13807 Poplar Tree Road, Chantilly, VA. Burial will be at Quantico National Cemetery.
Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 9, 2013