Meet Bernie of Shepherd of Grace
Bernie Kasper is a kind, gentleman who has worked hard his entire life. He was born outside of St. Michael, Minnesota and was raised on his parent’s dairy farm. He was the third oldest of 10 children, five boys and five girls. Bernie learned his strong work ethic at a very young age by working on the farm. He loved raising all the farm animals, especially the chickens and calves as well as rabbits, dogs and cats.
Bernie attended school through 8th grade. Like most boys his age, he helped on the farm and played a little baseball in his spare time. He knew his wife, Florence, for a long time before they ever got married. They went to school together but it wasn’t until they were in their teens that they started dating. Bernie was drafted into the Army in 1953 and served for two years. Bernie and Florence got married while he was on furlough on June 14, 1954. At that time, he was stationed in Alaska, and he had to show a round-trip plane ticket in order to go home on leave.
Bernie bought the family farm from his dad in 1967. He farmed and also worked a full-time job as an auto mechanic for 40 years in various FORD dealerships. The last 13 years he had his own shop on the farm and fixed cars. He loved his work and has a lot of great memories. He took great pride in helping his customers, doing little favors and things that would make them happy.
Florence was a homemaker and worked for about five years at a travel agency in the Cities. Bernie and Florence had five children, two girls and three boys. After raising their family, they loved to travel and took many bus trips. A few of their favorites were a two week trip out East to see the fall colors and Niagara Falls, a trip through the Canadian Rockies and a trip through Montana and Glacier National Park. Since the age of 16, Bernie’s favorite pastime was dancing. And he is still dancing today. He loves to do the Fox Trot and Two Step to “good old Country music.”
Bernie sold the family farm in 1999 and they moved to a home five miles East of Becker. Not one to slow down, Bernie enjoyed doing wood work and taking care of the house and the yard. He said, “I’ve always been kind of hyper and like to stay busy.”
Bernie loves being part of a large family; they now have 19 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren, saying, “and they are still coming!” Their family traditions have always included large get-togethers with the whole family.
Sadly, Florence passed away a couple years ago after 62 years of marriage. The kids were worried about him living alone in the country and working so hard to take care of the house and the large yard. They told him it was time to slow down and learn how to relax. They convinced him to move into Shepherd of Grace about seven weeks ago and he is settling in nicely. He said, “I really like the people, they are all very nice. The food is excellent and we have great entertainment.” He comes and goes as he pleases and is still attending four or five dances a month all over the area. Next week he’ll be in Buffalo at a dance at the Legion.