Bernard Merchen

Bernard Merchen. Courtesy photo.

Bernard Merchen
Feb. 20, 1927, to June 5, 2022

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Born on Feb. 20, 1927 in Witten, South Dakota, Bernard attended a rural one room elementary school and graduated from Bennett County High School in May 1945.

He was inducted into the Army in October 1945 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, completed his basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington, and served in Korea from 1946 to 1947.

Bernard returned to South Dakota to be a ranch hand until 1950.

His teaching career began then in a one room rural school. He attended the Black Hills Teachers College. From 1959 to 1960 he taught eighth grade and coached two elementary school teams at Kadoka, South Dakota.

He moved his family to Soledad, California, in 1961, teaching at the elementary school. In 1967 he moved his family to Upper Lake and began teaching in Lakeport. He taught seventh, fifth, fourth and third grades, retiring after 26 years in Lakeport, with 43 total years teaching.

Married Joyce Spencer in 1952 to her death in 2000. They had 3 children, Steve, Joe and Shelly; 6 grandchildren, Michael, Tracie, Chrissy, Laura, Kevin and Jason; 9
great-grandchildren, Alexis, Caitlin, Zander, Ryan, Brayden, Vance, Dominic, Chase and Antonio.

Married Roberta Tawney July 2005, becoming the Stepfather to Char, Debbie, Jackie and Phil.

He served as Treasurer of the Lake County Retired Teachers Association 1994-2006. He served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Ukiah Valley Horseshoe Pitchers Association. Served as Esquire, Lecturing Knight and Loyal Knight of the Lakeport Elks #2704.

Bernie enjoyed family, playing horseshoes, dancing, his friends, and meeting his former students and hearing or reading about their successes.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce; daughter, Shelly; stepdaughter, Jackie; granddaughter, Laura; and grandson, Kevin.

Care entrusted to Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary FD1336, in Lakeport, 707-263-0357.