Bernard A. “Bernie” Eggink passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, after a brief illness.
Bernard was born in Vorden, The Netherlands, and in November 1948, at age 25, he immigrated to the United States. He arrived after a three-week boat trip, and then traveled to Iowa, where he worked on a farm and lived with the cousin who had sponsored his journey here. From Iowa, he moved to Mishawaka to accept a position at St. Francis Convent. After a brief courtship in The Netherlands with Riek Waenink, he continued their relationship via correspondence for three years. Riek then immigrated to the U.S. to be reunited with Bernard.
They married on April 19, 1952 and would have celebrated sixty-four years of marriage this year. They moved to Granger in 1960 where they bought and operated Bernard’s Food Center for twenty-three years, which became well known locally for its custom meat department. Bernard was a very proud, hard-working man filled with strength, determination, and courage. He left his home and family in The Netherlands to build a better life for him and his future family.
He will be remembered for his Dutch accent, his great sense of humor, and that he was always ready for a good time with anyone he met. He enjoyed traveling, dancing, playing cards, and his backyard fish pond. He also took pride in growing and selling his Christmas trees.
Surviving are his five children: Josephine (Rick) Paczkowski, Warsaw; Cecilia (John) Thompson, Granger; Lucy (Jody) Davis, Granger; Rick (Kim) Eggink, Granger; and Pam (Phil) Hansing, Elkhart; six grandchildren: Jenny Mais, Tracy Vineis, Kim Hutt, Ben Davis, Nicole Davis and Ryan Thompson; and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Alfons, New Zealand.
Just three months ago, Bernard lost his loving wife, Riek. He was also preceded in death by his parents Hendrikus and Elizabeth Eggink, and brothers and sisters, Anthony, Sister Elisia, Bertha, Sister Odile, Mies, Harry, Marie, and Josefien.
Family and friends will be received from 4-8 p.m. Friday, July 22, at Chapel Hill Funeral Home, 10776 McKinley Highway, Osceola, with a Rosary Service beginning at 8 p.m. Rev. Msgr. William C. Schooler will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 23, in St. Pius X Catholic Church, 52553 Fir Road, Granger, with visitation one hour prior to Mass in the Church. Burial will follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.
Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Joseph County Right to Life, 2004 Ironwood Circle #130, South Bend, IN 46635.