Bernie Wayne Mendenhall, 80 years old, died at his home in Olathe after a lengthy illness surrounded by family and special friend Sheila Miller and Tony Abbott from Hospice.
Bernie was born on Dec. 24, 1932, in Grand Island, Neb., to Wayne G. and Mildred M. (Coombs) Mendenhall.
He graduated from Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1950 where he was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. He then moved with his parents and two sisters to Spokane, Wash., where he met the love of his life, Carol Nickson. They married on July 23, 1952, in Delta, Colo.
He worked as a beef boner for Armour Co. with his uncle, Charles Kincade. He and Carol moved to Fair Oaks, Calif., where they were blessed with two sons and a daughter. Bernie worked as an outside salesman for Hammond Tire Co.
Bernie and Carol hunted elk with Carol's sister, Fran Byers and husband, Clarence on the Cimarron several years before settling in Olathe, Colo., in 1967 on a little farm outside Olathe. They joined the Olathe United Methodist Church where they helped with the MYF group. He worked at Phillips Auto and Implement in Delta for a few years then became an outside salesman for NAPA in Montrose traveling to Silverton, Telluride and the West End for 20 years. He said it was safer in the winter snow than in the summer with tourists.
Bernie became a lifetime member of the Montrose Elks and is a PER. In 1954, Bernie joined the IOOF and Rebekahs Lodge where they were very active. He was Past Noble Grand, Past District Deputy Grand Master. He also became Scout Master of the local Boy Scouts (he was a Boy Scout in Nebraska). He worked with Harold Krabbe and the Scouts for several years. At the age of 57, he decided to learn to fly "real" airplanes and earned his pilot's license. His passion was building and flying model airplanes, so he opened B and D Hobby Shop with son David in 1981. He had been building models since he was 12 years old. He is a member of Montrose Model Airplane Association.
Bernie had a love of classic cars and was able to buy a 1946 Ford (he was Ford all the way) Super Deluxe Coupe exactly like the one he courted Carol in. He joined Black Canyon Classic Car Club and Ute Trails Car Club. He really enjoyed the trips and shows with both clubs.
Bernie loved Colorado, the beautiful mountains, his children, grandchildren and especially his great-grandchildren. Carol and Bernie celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in July 2012.
Bernie is survived by his loving wife, Carol; two sons: Dudley W. (Annie) of Tiburon, Calif., and David W. of Olathe; five grandsons: Max and Matthew Mendenhall of San Francisco, Calif., David Junior (Dannielle), Dylan and Derek Mendenhall of Lexington, Ky.; four granddaughters: Amanda (Eric) Fletcher of Olathe, Jessica Grove; Heather Mendenhall (Cody Hammon), Lisa Millican, all of Montrose, Colo.; four great-grandsons: Trenton and Kodi Fletcher of Olathe, Nathan Montez and Hunter Currey; two great-granddaughters: Kaiya Hammon and Sage Currey, all of Montrose, Colo.; and many nieces and nephews.
Bernie was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Sheryl Ann Grove; great-grandson, Zachary Phillips; and sister, Ruby.
A celebration of Bernie's life will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, at the Olathe United Methodist Church. Family and friends are invited to a potluck lunch following the service at his home, 58763 Falcon Road, Olathe, Colo.
Memorial contributions may be made in Bernie's memory to Montrose Model Airplane Club, P.O. Box 491, Montrose, CO 81402 or to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 24, Delta, CO 81416.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
View the Internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at taylorfuneralservice.com.
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