Obit, June Evans Bernhardt | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Obit, June Evans Bernhardt

Nancy Oliver Hayden, Tribune Community editor

Funeral services will be Friday, Feb. 8 for Thelma June Evans Bernhardt, who died Feb. 2, 2002, at Carson City, Nev. She was 83.

Mrs. Bernhardt was born Feb. 12, 1918, at Vernal, Utah, to Clarence and Madge Evans. The family moved to San Bernardino, Calif., in 1921, where she attended elementary school and graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1935. She received a bachelor’s degree in home economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1941. She married Philip Max Bernhardt Feb. 16, 1940, at Berkeley and they ran a boarding house for Berkeley students from 1945 to 1946.

Mrs. Bernhardt, her husband, and her brother, Owen Evans, moved to the South Shore of Lake Tahoe in 1947, where they started the South Tahoe Laundry Service. The building still stands on Tamarack Avenue. Between the three of them laundry services were delivered in a 1939 Chevy pickup along unplowed roads between Minden, Nev., and Camp Richardson, with Mrs. Bernhardt doing much of the driving. In 1950 she began teaching elementary school and taught fourth- and sixth-grades at several schools before retiring in 1975 while at Bijou Elementary. In 1986 she started to tutor in her home through the El Dorado County Library Literacy Services, which she continued until her recent illness.

Mrs. Bernhardt was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From the days of meeting in garages to the chapel of today she was always there to serve in any way she could. She was honored by many callings from Sunday school teacher to the Family History Center. She was know to all as the ward’s “Grandma Friendly.” Along with the church and teaching, she gave to her community by volunteering in numerous areas. She formed the first Girl Scout Troop at South Lake Tahoe and served as neighborhood chairman. She was a founding and active member of the American Association of University Women and also was involved actively with the Lake Tahoe Garden Club, Gem and Mineral Society and Lake Tahoe Historical Society. She was well known for her knowledge of the area and its history. She was instrumental in starting the yearly Old Timers Party for the survivors of the “The Year of the Big Snow in 1952.” A charter member of the Barton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, she volunteered for many years at the Attic, the auxiliary’s thrift store. She and her husband were original contributors for the starting of Barton Memorial Hospital. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star chapter 610 and she and her husband served as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron. She also was involved with Job’s Daughters. In 1998 Mrs. Bernhardt was a nominee for the Lifetime Achievement Award in volunteerism sponsored by the Tahoe Prevention Network and the United Way at the Lake. She also received the Edith Wilson Award for volunteerism in 1988 as a result of being nominated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She will be remembered through the numerous lives she has touched as a teacher, volunteer, parent and just from “being around since they dug the lake.” Many also remember her glowing smile and her ability to find the best in everyone. She had an incredible love of nature, which she passed on to her students and children. Visitors to her house were always amazed by her collection of owl figurines and pictures — a collection that grew by the minute. The loss of Mrs. Bernhardt and and her kindness will be felt in the hearts of everyone forever.

Survivors include her son, Philip Evan Bernhardt of Brookings, Ore.; daughter, Sally Joyce Wood of South Lake Tahoe; sister, Eva Huckaby of Oceanside, Calif.; brothers, Owen Evans of South Lake Tahoe and Daniel Kurtz of Bonanza, Ore.; grandchildren, Bob Bernhardt of Grants Pass, Ore., Donna Wood of Baldwin Park, Calif., and Bret Bernhardt of Sacramento, Calif.; great-grandchildren, Allysa, Patrick, Alex and Nicholas Bernhardt of Grants Pass and Zoe Rain Bernhardt of Sacramento; and her dog, Sunny. She was predeceased by her parents, her husband of 43 years, Philip Max Bernhardt in 1983, and her mother-in-law, Eunice Bernhardt Gray in 1998.

Funeral services will begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3460 Spruce Ave., followed by graveside services at Happy Homestead Cemetery and a gathering of family and friends at the church.

Donations in Mrs. Bernhardt’s memory may be made to a charity of choice.


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