Bernard ‘Bernie’ Gerald Siebenaler, 78 passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 16, 2023. He was born on June 1, 1944 on Siebenaler Ridge to Alex and Olivia (Kronebusch) Siebenaler. He grew up in Winona County and graduated from Lewiston High School in 1962. He served in the Navy from 1962-1965.
On August 27th, 1966, he married the love of his life, Theresa ‘Terry’ Butenhoff and had 12 children. They’ve been married for 56 years and have 36 grandchildren with another arriving this summer.
For 35 years he worked at IBM (Big Blue) in Rochester and managed a 280 acre farm at the same time. He was a respected member of the community he loved so much. Bernie was a member of the St. Charles School Board for 30 years, a Faith Formation teacher, basketball coach, St. Aloysius trustee, and a Meals on Wheels volunteer, among others.
Bernie was a bus driver for the St. Charles School District which he enjoyed so much. The number of students and families he had relationships with while driving that big yellow bus can’t be measured in numbers, but by the smiles and words of thanks he got daily.
Anyone who knew Bernie, understood instantly that being with his family brought him the most happiness. He loved attending sporting and other events for his children and grandchildren. The yearly family vacation at the lake was his favorite time of year. The laughter and memories of being together filled his soul. He had a very strong faith in the Lord and led his life with a strong moral conviction. Bernie loved reading, counting deer from his front deck, and cracking jokes every chance he had.
He is survived by his 11 children, Micki (Jim) Lesch, Lisa (Aaron) Easley, Sandy (Rob) Vetsch, Rebecca (Steve) Stolz, Bob Siebenaler, Catherine (Derek) Jansen, Cristina (Brian) Davidson, Jimmy (Katie) Siebenaler, John (Crystal) Siebenaler, Tom (Julie) Siebenaler, and LeAnna (Jason) Slivnik. He is also survived by his 36 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
His surviving sisters include, Mary Kramer, Peggy (Ron) Dickie, Ruth Reese, Patricia (Dennis) Engrav, Rose Siebenaler, Veronica (Bob) Theobald, Barbara (Bill) Baer, and Virginia (Tom) Ties. His surviving brothers include Jim (Sheila) Siebenaler, Frank (Judy) Siebenaler, Robert Siebenaler, and Mike (Pauline) Siebenaler.
Bernard is preceded in death by his daughter Emily, parents, Alex and Oliva, Brothers-in-law, Darrell Reese, Jeff Matzke, August Verdick and Herb VanRiper, Sisters-in-law, Jeanne Siebenaler and Mary VanRiper, Nephew, Mike Kramer and Niece, Sarah Hackenmiller.
A funeral mass will take place on Thursday March 23, 2023 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church at 11:00 am with lunch to follow.
Visitation will be on Wednesday March 22, 2023 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, as well as an hour before the funeral mass.
Burial with military honors will follow the service at St. Aloysius Catholic Cemetery, Elba, MN.
Schad & Zabel Funeral Home in Plainview is assisting with the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to your charity of choice in honor of Bernie.
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