Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

Bernard J. "Bernie" Bartholow

Feb 01, 2018


August 13, 1939 - January 30, 2018

Bernard J. "Bernie" Bartholow, age 78, of Muscatine, Iowa, formerly of Washington, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, surrounded by his family.

A visitation will be held Thursday, February 1, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Muscatine, Iowa, and Friday, February 2, from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Jones & Eden Funeral Home in Washington, Iowa. A celebration of life service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 3, 2018, at the First Presbyterian Church in Muscatine with Rev. Pam Saturnia officiating and will be followed by a light lunch and time of fellowship. A private burial will be held at Elm Grove Cemetery in Washington, Iowa. A memorial has been established for First Presbyterian Church Youth. Online condolences may be sent for Bernie's family at www.jonesfh.com.

Bernie was born on August 13, 1939, in Washington, Iowa, the son of Charles and Helen (Hunt) Bartholow. He graduated from Washington High School in 1957 and remained close to classmates and their loved ones through their monthly lunches. He met Judith Ann "Judy" Hering, the love of his life, on August 6, 1959, at the Washington County Fair and proposed to her on her 17th birthday, October 30, 1959. They were united in marriage on June 26, 1960, at the Eicher Mennonite Church in Wayland, Iowa.

Bernie's formal training was a correspondence course in drafting. His first job was at Clow Valve (Oskaloosa, Iowa) followed by Bournes (Ames, Iowa) as a tool and die maker, and ultimately, he worked at HON (Muscatine, Iowa) as a manufacturing engineer for 30-plus years. He was an active Elder of First Presbyterian Church serving on committees such as Personnel, Buildings & Grounds, and Stewardship. He served on the Muscatine Community School Board from 1979-1982.

Bernie and Judy enjoyed many Labor Day weekends as a train conductor and support of the Midwest Central Railroad serving the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, as well as the October Ghost Train and the December North Pole Express. As a conductor, Bernie wanted to help children and their adults make a safe joyous memory of a lifetime.

He and Judy served for nearly 10 years as leadership of the Muscatine Band Boosters, traveling to Mexico, Florida, St. Louis, and countless competitions.

Bernie was well known for his flamboyant handlebar mustache. He loved to share stories about his farming and trapping, and lessons learned from his parents as a young boy. He enjoyed anything that his grandchildren participated in and spent hours attending games, concerts, and plays to support them. He loved wood carving and woodworking, and briefly supported the family by doing residential remodeling projects and cabinetry construction. At the age of 26, he built a home in Ames, Iowa, which they completed in three years while Bernie worked at Bournes.

Bernie will be deeply missed by his son, Dr. Timothy Bartholow, and wife Janice of Madison, Wis.; daughter, Tammi Drawbaugh and husband Paul of Muscatine, Iowa; grandson, Matt Bartholow and wife Brenda of Bow, Wash.; grandson, Dan Bartholow and Kolette Knapstein of Milwaukee, Wis.; grandson, Kaleb Drawbaugh of Evanston, Ill.; granddaughter, Emma Drawbaugh of Muscatine, Iowa; and an expectant great-grandchild (Matt and Brenda) in May. Bernie is also survived by his sister, Bea Johnson of Washington, Iowa; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Charles; an older brother, Chuck Bartholow; and his wife Judy, October 21, 2017. His work here was completed as he held Judy's hand, the love of his life, at her passing 101 days earlier.

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