(Ret.) Lt. Col. Donald Wayne Bernard, Sr. passed away in his home on Monday, November 26th in the loving presence of his family. He was born February 22nd, 1933 in Pattonsburg, Missouri to Luther J. and Mary Ellen Bernard. He was 79 years old.
Lt. Col Donald "Pop" Bernard, USAF, Retired enlisted in the Air Force 28 November 1952 attending Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB, TX. After basic training Amn Bernard was a student at Lowry AFB, CO where he was selected to attend Cadet training to become a Navigator and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt on 30 June 1954.
Lt. Col. Bernard served as a navigator on the C-124 Globemaster II before completing pilot training on the Globemaster. Lt. Col Bernard also piloted the C-133 Cargomaster as well as the C-5 Galaxy and was a member of the initial C-5 pilot cadre at Dover AFB. During his career Lt. Col Bernard served all over the world to include Vietnam where he earned a Bronze Star for his outstanding service. Lt. Col Bernard retired honorably from active service on 30 November 1972 holding the specialty number and title of 1045N Aircraft Commander, C-5 while stationed at Dover AFB, DE. He was stationed at Dover AFB from 1958 until his retirement in 1972.
His awards include Vietnam Campaign with 60 Date Bar, Marksmanship Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, AF Longevity Service Ribbon with 4 oak leaf clusters, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 bronze stars, AF Expeditionary Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 bronze star, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award with 3 oak leaf clusters, AF Commendation Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, and the Bronze Star.
Donald is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Foy Jean Bernard, His daughter Melody J. Wireman, and her husband, Eddie, his son, Donald W. Bernard, Jr. (“Chuck”), and his wife Becky, his daughter Mary J. Bernard, and her significant other, Mike, and his daughter Elizabeth A. Lucas (Beth), and her husband, Don. He is deeply missed by his grandchildren: Rebecca Soeiro, Jessica Jackson, Matt Henry, Michael Henry, Megan McCullum, Jordan Bernard, Kristen Zeman, Kim Willoughby, Casey Wireman, Taylor Lucas, Austin Wireman, Rachel Lucas, and 12 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his brother, Lester Bernard of Colorado, and three sisters; Linda Borowsky of Florida, Ann Hinds of Georgia, and June Christiansen of North Carloina, as well as a host of other family and friends.
Most recently Don worked for the Blood Bank of Delaware transporting blood for centers throughout the state. He enjoyed flying RC model aircraft and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Dover. He will be remembered for his love of God, family, country and his stories of his life and experiences. He will be truly missed and his life will always be celebrated by his friends and family. Pop, we love and salute you!
Page 2 of 2 - A viewing will be held at the Pippin Funeral Home on Thursday, November 29th from 6 to 8PM. Services will take place on Friday, November 30th at the First Baptist Church on Walker Road in Dover at 1PM. Burial will follow at Oddfellows Cemetery in Camden, DE. Letters of condolence may be sent to the family via www.pippinfuneralhome.com.