Bernard Visser

  Bernard John (Bernie) Visser went home to be with his Lord Jesus Christ and his beloved wife Ruth on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018.

  Bernie was born March 19, 1925, in Cawker City, Kansas, to Pete and Martha (Wichers) Visser. When he was 6, he traveled cross country with his family to Lynden. He rode a lot of the way in a box attached to the running board of the model A, taking turns with brother Don.

  At age 13 he had to quit school and was hired out to different families. At age 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, turning 18 the day he left for boot camp in Farragut, Idaho. Bernie served in the Navy during World War II, from 1943 to 1946, on the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-la. He was a tailgunner on a Helldiver. His squadron flew over the battleship Missouri during the signing of the peace treaty at the end of the war, making sure there was no surprise attack.

  Bernie sent for his fiance’, Ruth Vlasman, to meet him in San Diego and they got married there on Nov. 13, 1945. They returned to Whatcom County and raised five children. Bernie worked at a number of jobs, including being a bread truck driver for Buchans and Oroweat for 30 years.

  Bernie retired in the mid-1980s and he and Ruth began their traveling. They were snowbirds, traveling to all 50 states and 16 countries.

  He was preceded in death by his beloved Ruth in 2014; his parents; brothers Donald, Harold and Martin Visser; sisters Dorothy Posthuma, Henrietta Olin and Bernice VanDalen; and daughter-in-law Cathy Visser.

  He is survived by his children, Dianne Vander Woude, Nancy (Gale) Nyland, Kenneth Visser, Robert (Deb) Visser, and Ronald (Wendy) Visser; brother George (Gladys) Visser; sister-in-law Joyce Visser; 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; John and Pat Poortinga and June Viddal.

  A huge “thank you” to the staff at Lynden Manor for their loving care in his last days and to Hospice as well. Memorials may be made to Faith Reformed Church of Lynden.

  You are invited to join family and friends for the graveside committal in Monumenta Cemetery at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, followed by a 2 p.m. memorial service in Faith Reformed Church with Pastor Marcus Roskamp officiating.

  You are invited to share your memories and condolences in the online Guest Book at

Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.