Born April 13, 1953 to Smokey and Vi Bernard, Bob grew up in Cordova with his two older brothers, Dennis (Noreen), Bill and younger sister Betsy (Butch) West. He graduated from Cordova High School with the Class of 1971. Bob spent his career fishing, crabbing and tendering all over the waters of Alaska. He had a passion and respect for the water. In 2013 he took his sailboat, the “Bernard Explorer” from Cordova to the Canadian Arctic, over 4,000 miles following the voyages of his Great Uncle Joe Bernard and Great Great Uncle Peter Bernard who were both Arctic Explorers. Bob was a great storyteller and shared many memories of the people in Cordova and the Arctic that came before him that he honored and respected.
Bob was loved and cherished as a wonderful husband, father, papa and great-grandfather. He is survived by wife Ginger; sons Tony Cushman and Robert (Stephanie) Bernard; daughters Alana (Maury) Wilson, Kari (Hayden) O’Rear, Dena (Chris) Traxler, Bonnie Bernard, Michelle (Joshua) Thornberg; grandchildren Taylor (Matt) Obenauf, Kayla, Aliyah and Izaiah Wilson, Hayley and Maddie Cushman, Katie O’Rear, Robert, Bridgett and Elias Bernard; Ellie Guyton, CJ Traxler, Zachary Cutburth and Maison Thornberg; and great-grandson Jayce Obenauf. His nieces Stacey (Brian) Johannessen, Sheryl (Dave) Glasen, Anja (Scott) Roloff and Dana (Troy) Lawlor, aunts Doris Ahearn and Edna MacMaster, uncle Doug (Eva) Perry, all of his wonderful cousins and friends.
The Lord called Bob home on July 22, 2018. He was surrounded by his loving family. He said, “Cancer may kill me, but it will never beat me.” He was the strongest man and asked that we all “Let go of the physical and celebrate the spiritual.”
At Bob’s request, there will be no funeral. He also requested that since he spent over 50 years trying to stay out of the water that he did not want to be put in the water.
He would like us all to celebrate his life by helping someone in need. Give $5, $10 or $20 to someone struggling that you see, and say, “This is from Bob, he was a good man and wants you to do something good with this money for yourself.”