Bernard L. DeBruyne

Bernard L. DeBruyne

Bernard Leroy DeBruyne peacefully made his transition from his earthly home to his Heavenly home on August 6, 2016.

He was born November 16, 1933 to Dora Mae and Jacob DeBruyne in Plainwell. On December 24, 1952 Bernard married his sweetheart Barbara Ann Stickley. They welcomed their first child, Debra Lynn in 1954, son, Mark in 1957, daughter, Pam in 1959 and son, Michael in 1961. Bernard was in the Navy from 1951 to 1954 active duty and 4 years inactive. He was in the Korean War abroad the USS Des Moines. He returned home to Plainwell and started working at Plainwell Paper in 1957 until his retirement in 1996. Bernard was an avid fisherman and hunter. He enjoyed woodworking, carving ducks and playing the guitar and cards with his friends. He was in bowling leagues and enjoyed spending time with his family. He loved his LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST and also took great pride in his family name. Bernard was a hardworking simple man who loved his wife, children, grandchildren, great and great-great-grandchildren so very much. He was a jokester and made statements wherever he went.

Surviving are his wife of 64 years, Barbara DeBruyne of Otsego, son, Mark (Kathy) DeBruyne of Plainwell, daughter, Pam (Charlie) DeBruyne McQueer of Otsego and son, Michael (Tammy) DeBruyne of Kalamazoo; one sister, Carol Brewster of Texas; 12 grandchildren, Gretchen Kershaw, Amanda DeBruyne, Thomas (Meghan) DeBruyne, Jacob (Brittany) DeBruyne, Josh (Jerrica) DeBruyne, Justin DeBruyne, Heather McQueer, Brooke McQueer, Steve (Cindy) McQueer, Tracy (Chad) St. Clair and Josh and Travis Kent; 9 great-grandchildren; 6 great-great-grandchildren and his beloved dogs Katy Marie and Bo Jangles.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Dora & Jacob DeBruyne; firstborn daughter, Debra DeBruyne; firstborn grandson, Michael Sloan Harris and sisters, June Bradshaw, Doris Ferguson, Shirley Stowell and Helen Watts.

Friends may visit with Bernard’s family starting at 10:00 AM on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego, until the time of the Funeral Service at 11:00 AM with Minister Gretchen Kershaw officiating.

Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery in Plainwell.

Military Honors by VFW Post #3030.

After the committal service a luncheon will take place at St. Margaret Church in Otsego.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Bernard may be made to US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Kandy & Rick Steinke says:

    Mark & Kathy and family:

    We are so very sorry for your loss. May you have strength and peace. God Bless.

  2. Gretchen Kershaw says:

    “Putt Putt” As much as this hurts me to have to say our temporary goodbyes, I have to thank the LORD that you are NO LONGER suffering and struggling to breathe. Grandpa, you have and always will hold a very special place in my heart. Your goofiness, jokes, laughter and child like silliness is what made you extra special. I spent a lot of time with you as a child growing up, you took care of me and made sure I never went without. Thank you for ALL that you did for your family and all that you taught us.

    I promise to do my best to take care of your precious wife Barbara and carry in my heart all the love that we shared. Memories will be what will help carry us through until the day we meet again. I miss you and things just won’t be the same here without you, but I know the GOOD LORD will give us HIS PEACE that surpasses ALL UNDERSTANDING! I already miss you so dearly Grandpa Bernie…I am doing your service Grandpa and I promise to do my best to honor your life, achievements, memories and essence of who you truly are.

    Until we meet again…please give my Momma and my Brother a kiss from me. I LOVE YOU…Grandpa!!

    Love “Country Bumpkin”

  3. Louise Thompson says:

    Aunt Barb & family, I am so sorry for your loss of Uncle Bernie. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love Louise

  4. SUSAN HATTEN says:

    I are so very sorry for your loss. May you have strength and peace. God Bless. TAKE CARE: SUSAN

  5. Kathy Arehart-Luster says:

    I have fond memories of visiting when I was young. My Mom and Dad, Carl and Maxine Arehart, were good friends with Barb and Bernie. May you rest in the loving arms of Jesus and tell my parents hello, until we meet again.

  6. Ruby Rogers says:

    Barbara~ I used to work in dollar General and bernie was always so fun when he came in singing Ruby dont take your love to town. Laughs. He always brightened my day coming in and such a Godly man. Deepest sympathies and may God bless you at this time!

  7. Pam De Bruyne McQueer says:

    Dad, What an honor it is to be your daughter. You were a man of great pride for your name and your creed! You were brilliant, gifted beyond any other I have ever known. Your love for people and life inspired me to be the woman I am today. You taught me to be tough, educated and compassionate. Your sense of humor never ended and the impact that you made on others was something to be proud of…and I was very proud of you Dad You were my biggest fan in life! I will carry on as you raised me to do, the whole that you have left in my heart will never heal, but your memories will live on. Until we meet again I can only imagine what it was like when you seen Jesus face…and I cannot wait to see you again on the other side when I can hear your sweet voice again. I love you Dad Pammie Sue

  8. Tammy Thompson-Drake says:

    God Bless You All, My Heart snd Prayers are with you. I so enjoyed when Bernie and Barbara came in the store where I worked (Dollar General) They always had us girls laughing, till our face hurt.. Bernie will be missed. Thank you for those precious memories.

  9. George and Mary Washburn says:

    We are so sorry to hear about Bernie passing away. We have many fond memories of when we were neighbors with Bernie & Barb and Pam & Charlie. We are praying for your family as you grieve.

  10. Julie Lester Taylor says:

    Aunt Barb and family. We’re so sorry for the loss of uncle Bernie. I as a child have memories you and my folks playing cards gatherings at Baseline Lake to the Yellow Brick House. I pray for comfort and strength for you and the family.

  11. Bernard and Louise Lester says:

    Barb and family please know your in our thought and prayers. May you have strength and peace during this difficult time.
    Bernard & Louise Lester

  12. Steve, Celeste, Clara and Oran Tucker says:

    Barb, there are no words for what we’re feeling. 15 years, so many memories. We are so very sorry for your loss. Bernie was an amazing man. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

  13. Michael Chase says:

    I’m sorry of the loss of your father, he was a friend of my father for a long time, for a while they worked in the same paper mill before my father got into the dental business. Your father was the only one I knew that gave me a chance to play little league baseball. Matter a fact the teams he coached won 2 little league titles. I remember one of those seasons the team lost 6 games in the 1st half and the 2nd half the team went 5-1 and the team ended winning the whole tournament. He was just one of those coaches that never gave up. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  14. Kim and Brad Cronin says:

    We were very sad to hear about Bernie’s passing. He was a great neighbor for many years. He always brought the dogs treats and was so good to them, and us. He will be missed. Praying for Barb and family.

  15. Brad Cronin says:

    Barb and Family,

    We are so sorry for you loss. We enjoyed the time as your neighbors, you loved Moose, Sadie, and Pumpkin like they were your own dogs! They always got excited when they would see you guys walking over to the fence. We enjoyed the visits after you moved even if they were brief, it was always nice to see you guys. The dogs enjoyed the box of treats you always brought when you would come over! Bernie you will be greatly missed by all who know you!

    Brad, Kim, Lexi, and Pumpkin

  16. Marylin DeYoung says:

    Barb, I am grieving with you at the loss of Bernie. I just learned about his death this morning. He was so much fun to do family genealogy with. He always had so much to contribute making my knowledge of the Armstrong family so much greater. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  17. Art Parker says:

    Dear Barb, Pam, and family,
    Words fall short in conveying our deepest sympathy at the passing of such a fine man, but please know that you’re very close in thought and prayer. When I met Bernie online while doing family history research in 2002, I had no idea that it would be the beginning of such an extraordinary friendship; a talented genealogist, Bernie was extremely generous with his time and knowledge, and he was the better half of our “Holmes & Watson” partnership. An email from Bernie always assured big smiles, and I’ve saved them all: his quick and ever-present wit was matched by his warmth … unexpected and great gifts in my life. Above all, Bernie’s profound love for his family and reverence for his forefathers have been inspirational values and shall remain so. His legacy lives in all of you and within our hearts.
    With love, Art and Andrew

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