Obituary of Lorna Bernthal
Longtime Boulder resident Lorna Bernthal, age 94, died peacefully at Frasier Meadows Retirement Community in Boulder, CO on Thursday, June 15, 2017.
Lorna Bernthal was born on December 28, 1922, in Frankenmuth, MI, to John and Florence Schreiner. She graduated from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw, MI, in 1941, and then was employed doing office work in Frankenmuth. In July 1945 she moved to Valparaiso, IN, where she was employed in the registrar’s office of Valparaiso University.
On August 30, 1946 Lorna married Wilmar (Wil) Bernthal in Frankenmuth. They lived in Valparaiso, IN; Ann Arbor, MI; and Bloomington, IN; before moving with their four children to Boulder, CO in 1957. There Lorna, along with Wil, was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church for over 50 years.
During Wil’s career as a university professor, Lorna made a comfortable and nurturing home for him and their children. Neighbors on Forest Avenue were impressed with her “green thumb,” even when her vegetable garden expanded into the front yard. In her “empty nest” years Lorna nurtured a Vietnamese refugee family, forming a close friendship with them and giving them her personal support.
Besides raising four children, Lorna worked part-time, from 1970-1972, as secretary in the Boulder office of Lutheran Campus Ministry and, from 1973 to 1991, as administrative assistant to the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church. There she was honored with an “In Grace” sculpture at her retirement after 18 years of service.
In addition to her parents, Lorna was predeceased by nine brothers and sisters. She is survived by her husband Wil; by daughters Paula Palmer of Louisville, CO, and Shirley (Charlie) Paterson of Colorado Springs, CO; and by sons Robert (Leona Furnari) of Boulder and William of Brooklyn, NY. Also surviving are granddaughters Maia (Brett) Hendel of Mendota Heights, MN, and Twila (Chris) Moon, of Big Sky, MT; grandson Kevin (Paola Alonso Trejo) McEvoy of Boulder; and great-grandsons Quinn and Wesley Hendel of Mendota Heights, MN; as well as a large number of nephews and nieces.
Wil’s life was enriched by over seventy years of marriage with Lorna. They enjoyed family activities of sports, outdoor life in Colorado, and vacations throughout the U.S. They traveled through Europe while Wil taught graduate courses in Germany and Spain, and sailed around the world in the Semester at Sea program. Wil’s retirement opened more travel opportunities through Elderhostel and other programs. Still, Lorna was always happy to return to their Forest Avenue home of 42 years, where she was at ease in her own house, garden and neighborhood.
In 2000 Lorna and Wil moved into Frasier Meadows Retirement Community in Boulder, to enjoy many years of retirement fellowship. There Lorna readily volunteered to work in their Clothes Closet and Gift Shop, and she became known for playing a competitive game of Scrabble and other games.
A funeral service for Lorna will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 1001 13th Street at Euclid Avenue in Boulder, CO 80302, on Wednesday, July 5, at 10:30 a.m., with inurnment in the Grace Church Columbarium. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.