It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father Bernhard “Bernie” Bogensberger on Sunday February 26 at the age of 79. Born in Neumarkt, Steiermark, Austria on May 19, 1943. He was the youngest of 14 children born to Anna and Rudolf Bogensberger.
He started his apprenticeship at the young age of 14, where he met his wife Theresia. Following many of his siblings, Bernie immigrated to Canada at 18 and settled in Manitouwadge, Ontario. Once there, he asked Theresia to come over and they married on February 23, 1963. Due to his light-weight, he became the town milkman before becoming a miner.
After moving to Thunder Bay he had a mining accident at the Shabandowan mine. He then left mining and went to work as an upholsterer and later started Bernie’s Upholstery with his eldest son and daughter. Richard also completed the apprenticeship program there before venturing into a different field. After he retired, he worked as a taxi driver where he enjoyed talking to his passengers and always had interesting stories to tell about his fares.
He was very social and could start a conversation with anyone. He became involved with the Navy League Cadet Program and was a member of the Board and finally President. He was also an active member as a Mason of Shuniah Lodge and became the Master there in 1997 and also helped out with the Lodge in Atikokan.
To say he enjoyed driving on the highways would be an understatement and thought nothing about driving long hours to visit his brothers and sisters and their families. Always eager to lend a hand with the many renovations, or making wine, tomato sauce and cappicola with his son-in-law Enzo and being involved with his children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren’s activities.
He enjoyed playing an Austrian card game with his sons who had to adapt to ever changing rules! Above all else though, he loved family gatherings, and often marveled at how together with Theresia, his family has grown to include 5 great-grandchildren! He was very proud of all his grandchildren’s accomplishments, especially when they all were eventually able to work alongside him in the family business.
He is survived by his sole mate of 60 years, Theresia “Resi” (nee Hafner), his son Werner (Iola Di Biagio), daughter Brigitta D’Angelo (Enzo) and son Richard (Nicole Nadeau). Grandchildren Bernhard (Victoria Radtke), Micheal (Erin Kearney) and Aaron (Cassandra Curtis), Anthony, Dylan (Fiancé Maranda Ball) and great-grandchildren Lukas and Logan, Rowen, and Bryce and Grace. Along with many nieces and nephews and extended family in Canada as well as in Austria.
We would like to express our thanks to the Hospice nurses at St. Joseph’s Hospital for their care and compassion in our time of need and a very special thanks to our Dad’s Nurse Practitioner and family friend Pam Delgaty, for her commitment to our father’s health and wellbeing.
Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will be held at the Italian Cultural Centre on Algoma Street, March 4 from 1:00pm till 3:30pm.
Donations in his honour may be made to the Navy League Thunder Bay Branch or a charity of your choice.