Juan A. Bernal (Ben), age 81, passed away on Tuesday, February 2, 2016. He died much like he lived his life . . . on his own terms. He was born on August 21, 1934 to Jose (Joe) and Sefirina (Sanchez) Bernal in Cleveland/Mora, NM and became one of 12 children. He soon ventured out on his own at age 14 to explore the world. He joined the US military at age 17 and proudly served in both the US Air Force and US Army for over eleven years. While serving in the military, he met his wife, Evangelina (Gallegos) Bernal, at the local Dog House in Albuquerque. They married by proxy via Paul Pando on April 15, 1957, making Ben a husband and father to four young children the same day. Ben was a self-made man and a successful entrepreneur. He set high expectations for himself and met them. He expected the same from his family. Having had to work since he was a child, he knew the value of a dollar and made sure his children did, too. Ben enjoyed treating his Sugar Babe, wife Vangie, to Saturday night pizza from Pizza Hut and sitting on their front porch (Un Rinconcito en el cielo), solving the world’s problems. Ben struggled with kidney failure and multiple strokes. A proud man, he insisted on doing his own dialysis until he no longer could. This Christmas Eve, he was surrounded by those that loved him during one of the many holiday parties at his home. He is much loved and will be greatly missed. Mr. Bernal was preceded in death by his son, Gerald Burch, and sister, Anna Stroud. He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Evangelina Bernal; children, Alvin Bernal and wife, Sharon, Albert Bernal and wife, Yvonne, Charles Burch and wife, Katie, Edward Burch and wife, Kay, and his only daughter Joann Mares and husband, Ray, all of Albuquerque, NM; 13 grandchildren, Natasha, Mariah, Alexander, Leticia, Jessica, and Marisa Bernal, Carlos Burch, Shalene Andujo, Stephanie Lange, Jason Mares, Edward Michael Burch, Janelle Aragon, and Jacqueline Velasquez; 19 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; siblings, Marilyn Ross and husband, Jim, Patsy Guevara, Bobby Bernal and wife, Rose, Rudy Bernal and wife, Gina, Ernest Bernal, Toni Leal, Adolph Bernal and wife, Irene, Vangie Warren and husband, Duce, Maria Ortez and husband Roberto, and Albert Bernal and wife, Betty Lou. The Rosary will be recited at 10:00 AM followed by the Prayer Service at 10:30 AM on Monday, February 8, 2016 at Strong-Thorne Chapel, 1100 Coal Ave SE. A reception will follow, also at Strong-Thorne. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit www.danielsfuneral.com.
Strong-Thorne Life Events Center
1100 Coal Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106