HARTVILLE - Bernard Joseph McNelis, 71, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. He was welcomed into Heaven by his parents, Frank and Dottie McNelis; his siblings, Richard McNelis and Dorothea Glott; his sister-in-law, Fran McNelis; and his grandson, Jacob Brooker.
Bernard was born June 10, 1942, in Pittsburgh, Pa., and raised in California, Pa.
He entered the U.S. Navy in 1960, serving during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 through 1964.
Shortly thereafter he met his wife, Sharon Ann Wentzell, and they married on Jan. 8, 1966. They had two children, Lori and Timothy, and they lived in Newton Falls until 2008.
Bernard worked at General Motors Lordstown plant from 1966 to 2000.
As a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Uniontown, Bernard was devoted to his faith, his church and helping many members in his community. He adored spending time with his family and friends, and participating as a member of Legion Post 236 in Newton Falls, as well as Knights of Columbus Council 14959.
Due to his generous and kind spirit, he never met a stranger. He would truly do anything for anyone at any time. He would never expect recognition for his kindness but loved being everyone's "go-to guy."
Bernard also enjoyed working on cars for family and friends. Attending car shows was a favorite past time, along with golfing with his buddies.
Bernard is survived and sadly missed by his wife, Sharon; children, Lori Brooker (Brian Platt) and Timothy (Marcia) McNelis; grandchildren, Kaitlin, Nicholas, Andrea (William Bartos) and Michael; siblings and in-laws, Patricia (Jim) Hutchinson, Rita Sloan, David (Darice) McNelis, Michael McNelis and Tony Glott; several nieces and nephews; as well as his beloved four-legged daughter, Lola-Belle.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 2952 Edison St. N.W., Uniontown, OH 44685, with the Rev. John Zapp presiding.
Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery in Mogadore, where military honors will be conducted by Firestone VFW Post 3383.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home, 547 Canton Road, Akron, OH 44312, where a prayer service will take place at 7:30 p.m. Further visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home, followed by a procession to the church for the funeral Mass.