Lovila Bernhardt


Lovila (Vi) J. Bernhardt, 91, Bismarck, died peacefully with family at her side at Sanford Health on Sunday, February 12, 2023.  A gathering of friends and family will be on Thursday, February 16, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Bismarck Funeral Home, 3723 Lockport Street, Bismarck, ND.

Lovila was born April 13, 1931, in Goodrich, ND to Leora (Buechler) and Jack Gesellchen. Vi grew up and attended school in Bismarck, ND.

Lovila was joined in marriage to Elmer J. Bernhardt on February 5, 1951, in Bismarck.  Vi stayed at home, raising their four daughters, while Elmer drove truck across the open road.

Vi loved being a grandma.  She very proudly watched her grandkids become adults and start families of their own.  Grandma B. discovered new joy with the arrival of each new great-grandchild and was always in amazement with every new thing they learned.

Lovila most recently resided at Edgewood assisted living in Mandan, ND.  She enjoyed the community and companionship of new friends that Edgewood provided.

Vi is survived by two daughters, Deborah (Debby) Hernandez, Billings, MT and Shelley and Kenny Kleinsasser, Bismarck; grandchildren, Shannon and Shawn Dworshak, Brandon Bender, Kris and Alissa Kleinsasser, Chantel and Jake Erickson, and Michael and Jackie Kleinsasser; great-grandchildren, Gavin and Nolan Kleinsasser, Rowan Erickson, and Elliot Kleinsasser; and Gaye, a very special friend at Edgewood.

Lovila was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Elmer; sister and brother-in-law, Jackie and Norman Schatz; brother, Jim Gesellchen; daughters, Marcia (Marcy) Bender and Diane Dworshak.

Mom-May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sunshine warm upon your face, and the rain fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.  We will miss you always.

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I’m so sorry for your loss, your Mom held a special place in my heart.

Shelley and Debby and families, I am so sorry to hear of your mom passing. She was my second mom growing up, I have so many memories growing up across the street and all the time Shelley and I spent together! I loved your mom! I just saw she passed today as I am not in Bismarck this week, but Vi Bernhardt was such a big part of my childhood, I wanted to let you know I am thinking of you guys. It is hard to say goodbye to our aging parents, but just know she is with the angels for sure and you will be reunited with her when the time is right. Love to all! Jan Freier Thomas