Ernest “Ray” Bernard, 79, of Cedar Springs formerly of Belding, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at home. Ray was born on September 13, 1939 in St. Louis, MO, the son of Frank S. and Mildred M. (Willis) Bernard. Ray has lived in the West Michigan area since he was 12 years old moving with his family from St. Louis, MO to Grand Rapids. He proudly graduated from Ottawa Hills High School with the Class of 1956 and retired after many years of service driving truck. For a number of years Ray was a sideline video recorder for Belding High School football working with Irv Sigler during the championship years. Ray was a member of the First Congregational Church, Belding and during his working years he was a member of the Teamsters. He enjoyed being a model railroader and thoroughly enjoyed riding motorcycles. He was married on April 17, 1971 in Grand Rapids to Nancy Wessell. Ray is loved and survived by his wife Nancy and their children; Kimberly (Tim) Cooper of Lowell, Kathy (Ron) Price of Allendale, Troy (Chartrena) Bernard of Belding, Tonja Bohland of Muskegon, Travis (Ann) Bernard of Battle Creek, 13 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and his brother and sister in law; Martin and Shirley Stoutjesdyk of Grand Rapids, brother in law; Gerry Williams of Jenison and sister in law; Marilyn Wessell of Merrils Inlet, South Carolina. Ray was preceded in death by his parents, his uncles; Jim, Jess, Judson “Boone”, aunts; Irene and Catherine and three cousins. A memorial service celebrating Ray’s life will be 11:00 AM Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at the First Congregational Church, Belding with Pastor Paul Hulford officiating. The family will greet relatives and friends one hour before the service at church. Memorials may be given to the Wounded Warrior Project or a Charity of One’s Choice.
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