Bernard "Bernie" R. Szopinski

July 16, 1920 - July 13, 2006

Bernard "Bernie" Roman Szopinski of Pewaukee went home to be with the Lord on July 13, 2006.

A loving husband, father, grandfather and brother, he leaves to cherish his memory his children Joy Szopinski of Pewaukee, Jerome Szopinski of Menomonee Falls and Susan (Jeffery) Balfanz of West Allis; his granddaughter, Jenna Balfanz; and his sister, Helen Parafiniuk of Brookfield. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Elvina "Nina" Elfstrom, to whom he was married for 51 years.

Born and educated in Milwaukee, he was the son of Roman Szopinski and Josephine Bystry.

After working in the field of aircraft maintenance with the Crites brothers and Paul Poberezny, he was well-equipped when his country called during World War II. He served with honor in the Navy aboard the USS Honolulu, being present at Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal and assigned to special air support service in the Philippines. After the war, he worked as a bus driver in Waukesha before moving with his family to California to work for United Airlines.

He owned and operated grocery stores under the name of Bernieís Foods in Milwaukee and then Merton during the 1960s. He found a new career in the utility equipment servicing business until his retirement from Dalumís Utility Equipment Co. in 1987. He enjoyed continuing to work in his retirement at local hardware stores, most recently Wardenís Ace Hardware in Delafield, where he was truly the "helpful hardware man."

He served for many years on the Merton Volunteer Fire Department and was a member of Model Railroaders of Waukesha.

Bernie will be fondly missed by his church community of St. Charles in Hartland, where he served, among other ways, on the finance council, and as head usher for 40 years. May the Lord welcome this "good and faithful servant" to share his joy.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, 2006, at St. Charles Catholic Church, 313 Circle Drive, Hartland. Interment will be in St. Charles Church Cemetery. Friends may call at the church Tuesday from 5 p.m. until the time of the Mass.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to AngelsGrace Hospice, W359-N7430 Brown St., Oconomowoc, WI 53066, or to St. Charles Parish.

The Evert-Luko Funeral Home of Hartland, (262) 367-2156, is assisting the family.