Charles (Chuck) Willard Bernard died on January 18, 2018 at West Columbia, TX due to heart failure. Charles was born May 17, 1931 in Wink, TX to Joel Cosby Bernard, Sr. of KY and Edwarda Iva Smith Bernard of CO. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Edward, Carl, Kelly, Ralph, and Wendell and sister Margaret Bernard Starkey. As a child, Charles had nicknames Buster, Buck and Chuck. Throughout life, he was known by the latter two names.
Chuck grew up in NV and CA. In CA, his family moved to Ridgecrest in 1942 for the building of the Naval Ordnance Test Station at China Lake. Impressed by the work of the U.S. Navy research after WWII, Chuck earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Fresno, CA. He returned to China Lake to begin his career as a rocket designer. At the time, he married Catherine Turner where they became parents to Margaret Delia, Hannah Jane, Dan Clifford, and Alice Eileen Bernard. The marriage ended in divorce.
Seeking broader career opportunities, Chuck took a position with Lockheed Missiles and Space Systems in Redlands and then Sunnyvale, CA. In 1969, he was recruited by the Naval Surface Weapons Center (NSWC), Dahlgren, VA to be the head of their Guided Missiles Department. It was at Dahlgren that he met and in 1975 married Judith Ann Cornwell of MO in what would become a life-long loving partnership.
Chuck later served as the Deputy Technical Director of NSWC, White Oak, MD. Following this assignment, Chuck and his family moved to Brussels, Belgium to serve as the U. S. Navy's Science Advisor to the U.S. Military Delegation at NATO. He returned to the US to serve at the Pentagon in Washington, DC where he continued his career until retirement. He held the positions of Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Land Warfare and later as Director of Land Warfare, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Following government service, he owned and operated Columbia Bay Company, Alexandria, VA, a defense consulting firm.
Charles received his Master's and Doctorate of Public Administration degrees from the University of Southern California, Washington, DC campus. Chuck loved life and had the greatest, warmest smile and extended himself to help others in their life and careers. Charles loved reading, especially world history, and had a deep interest in airplanes and automobiles. In over 40 years, with his constant loving companion and wife, Judy, he traveled to all seven continents visiting or 65 countries.
After a thirty-year career in the Washington, DC area, Chuck and Judy moved to retirement in West Columbia, TX where they served the community as hospice volunteers and members of several community organizations. They were recognized as the West Columbia Chamber of Commerce Man and Woman of the Year. At another time, they were chosen for The Facts Newspaper Unsung Hero Award.
Survivors include his devoted wife, Judy, of the home, brothers, Joel and Lucius of CA, son, Dan and wife, Terrisa of Tampa, FL, and daughters, Margaret of Arlington, VA, Hannah of Paia, Maui, HI and Ali Anderson of Kensington, MD. Surviving also are four grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held in Orange Park, FL. Burial will follow at Jacksonville Memorial Gardens, Orange Park, Fla.
A memorial service will be held 11:00 am January 30, 2018 at Bethel Presbyterian Church in East Columbia.
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119 CR 300G
PO Box 817
East Columbia, TX 77486