BERNARD FRANCIS DeVRIES
December 29, 1925—August 2, 2018
ANTIOCH, IL - Bernard Francis DeVries, a long-time resident of Antioch, IL, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 2, in Zion, IL. He was 92.
The second of five brothers, Bernie was born at home on the farm on December 29, 1925, in Rib Falls, WI, to Sam and Effie (Andringa) DeVries. The family moved to Sparta, WI, where Bernie spent most of his growing-up years. He quit high school during his junior year to enlist in the U.S. Navy in 1943 as a shipfitter/hull technician. He met his wife, Helen Margaret Sands, in Philadelphia, PA, at a service club dance, and they were married June 21, 1947, in Conshohocken, PA. He made an around-the-world tour while onboard the USS Saipan, and was stationed at a variety of locations, including Cuba, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Key West, Great Lakes, and Pearl Harbor. He retired from the Navy in 1963 after 20 years of service and settled in Antioch, where the family had a house built on Trevor Road. Following his retirement from the Navy, Bernie continued his welding career first in Trevor, WI, then in Libertyville, IL, until he retired in 1987. He was a member of UAW Local 1643.
In 2002, he received his high school diploma with the Sparta High School graduating class. It was a proud moment for Bernie and his family as he accepted his diploma and a certificate of recognition from the Commander of the Fort McCoy Army Garrison in Tomah, WI.
Bernie was an active beekeeper for over 35 years and was a member of the Lake County Beekeepers Association. In 2014, he received the Illinois Beekeepers Association Pioneer Award for his work in promoting beekeeping. Bernie was a member of the Antioch American Legion Post 748, serving in many capacities, including Post Commander many times. He was also a member of the Fleet Reserve Association, the Retired Enlisted Association, VFW Sequoit Post 4551, and the United Methodist Church of Antioch, and, along with Helen, was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels for many years. Bernie and Helen were also active in volunteering with the USO at the Great Lakes Naval Base.
Bernie is survived by four daughters, Margaret (James) Cole of Antioch, Christine (Kenneth) Smith of Waukegan, Colleen Valentine of Zion, and Dianna (Jack) Baseley of Gurnee; as well as by one brother, Gordon DeVries of Inverness, FL. Many grandchildren and great-grandchildren also survive.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Margaret Sands DeVries; and by his parents and three brothers, Morris, Harvey, and Thomas. He was also preceded by his son-in-law, David J. Valentine; and by his grandson, Jack Bernard Valentine, of whom Bernie was very proud for his service in the U.S. Navy.
Funeral Services will be held at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at the STRANG FUNERAL HOME OF ANTIOCH, 1055 Main St. Antioch, IL 60002, with visitation from 5:00 p.m. until the start of the service Wednesday at the funeral home.
Interment with Military Honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, August 10, 2018, in Fort Sheridan Post Cemetery, Fort Sheridan, IL.
For additional information, call 847-395-4000.
Those who wish to make a memorial donation may do so to the USO of Illinois Great Lakes Center, 530 Farragut Ave. B, Great Lakes, IL, 60088. Indicate “In Memory of Bernard DeVries.”
Please sign the online guestbook for Bernie at www.strangfh.com.
Strang Funeral Home of Antioch