Bernard J. "Bernie" Empen
1934 - 2021
Bernard 'Bernie' J. Empen

Born: August 23, 1934; Ashton

Died: January 8, 2021; Freeport

FORRESTON – Bernard "Bernie" John Empen, 86, of Forreston, passed away Friday, January 8, 2021 at Manor Court, Freeport.

Mr. Empen was born August 23, 1934 in Ashton, Illinois, the son of Bernard A. and Josephine (Burken) Empen. He married Iris O'Hare in Polo on June 28, 2008. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army Reserves. He worked as a Dairy Farmer for many years. Later he was employed by Swiss Valley Farms, Vet Way, and Eastland Feeds. He was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, Polo, for 77 years, Forreston Lions Club where he served as Past President, Ogle County Farm Bureau, and A.M.P.I. Bernie was also chairman for Forreston Hometown Days, and ran the game clock for 25 years for Forreston football games. Bernie was an avid Chicago Bears and Cubs fan. He was a proud member of the table of knowledge. Above all else, Bernie cared deeply about his family.

Surviving are three sons, Jon (Margo) Empen of Dixon, Dan (Lisa) Empen of Lake Villa, and Daryl (Cynthia) Empen of Rock Island; daughter, Laurie Empen of Chicago; three stepsons, Michael (Joni) O'Hare of Stillman Valley, Tim (Lynn) O'Hare of Byron and Jim (Kelly) O'Hare of Stillman Valley; two brothers, Joe Empen of Forsyth and Ron (Pat) Empen of Winnebago; four sisters, Rosemary, O.P. Empen of Footville, WI., Shirley (Jack) Modjallal of Encino, CA., Phyliss Gibson of Madison, WI., and Carol Glenn of Milledgeville. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Nils and Ian Empen and Cade and Carter, Empen.

Bernie was preceded in death by his parents.

Private family funeral Mass will be Friday, Jan. 15, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Polo.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Bernie's memory.

Please sign his guestbook and share a remembrance at

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Ogle County News on Jan. 12, 2021.
4:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home Forreston - Forreston
203 S. 3rd Street, Forreston, IL 61030
Funeral Mass
St. Mary Catholic Church
, Polo, Illinois
Funeral services provided by:
Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home Forreston - Forreston
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I extend my thoughts and prayers to your family for your loss. When a parent dies, we reflect on the influence he had on our lives. Bernie was a man of concern for others, hard work and ethics to support his family.

I always enjoyed meeting Bernie because he smiled and was interested in others. For many years I remember he would come to the drugstore and buy one lottery ticket.

Many people hope each of you find comfort and small moments of smiles in the days ahead.
Margaret A Tyne
January 14, 2021
From your friends at RIEGC
January 13, 2021