Bernard McKairnes

Bernard James McKairnes

Thursday, November 16th, 1933 - Friday, September 25th, 2020
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Bernard James McKairnes was born on November 16, 1933 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Hugh Edward McKairnes and Cecilia Anna McKairnes (nee Szymborska). He was the youngest of 8 children and was called to be with our Lord and Savior on September 25, 2020 in Marionville, Missouri.

Bernard’s mother Cecilia was called home to heaven on April 15, 1938. At the time Bernard was not quite 5 and his mother’s passing was a loss felt deeply throughout his life. Along with his sister Helen and brother Frank, he spent years in and out of Catholic orphanages in the Philadelphia area.

Determined to overcome his childhood challenges, Bernard strived to have a career that would support him and a family of his own someday. He enrolled in a trade school to learn the craft of HVAC. It was during this turning point in his life that his greatest blessing came. He met the love of his life Anna May Cutter whom he lovingly called Annie. They married in Croydon, Pennsylvania on February 11,1961. To this union, Bernard and Anna had two daughters, Doreen Marie and Karen Ann. Anna’s 5-year-old son David was embraced as his own from day one. Bernard vowed to love his wife till the end, and it is a vow he kept till his last breath. When his children were able to care for themselves, his sole focus was to take care of his beloved Annie. Countless times he professed that “she saved my life”.

Bernard’s greatest motivator was always family. His life goal was to serve and honor his family from his heart. He always gave his best frequently working 70-80 hours a week to ensure his family was provided for. Even when times were tough and getting to work alone was a challenge such as when Philadelphia’s public transportation system was on strike, he dug in deeper. He would leave home in the early hours of the morning, walk two hours to work, put in an extended day, and walk home again only to start over the next day. Many times, he worked two jobs when the HVAC trade was slow. Some of his part time work included being a taxicab driver for Yellow Cab in Philadelphia and driving an ice cream truck in the summer months.

Bernard never settled for mediocrity and he strived to better himself. He developed many skills and talents along the way including becoming an inventor of a product called, Freezer Guard, which was an invention that served to send an early alert to commercial companies when a deep freezer stopped functioning. Additionally, in the early 1980’s when the family relocated to Houston, TX, he enrolled in specialized training to become a certified alcohol and drug counselor. This gave Bernard the opportunity to give back and use his life experiences to help others. He considered it a passion and a calling that he continued until health concerns caused him to take early retirement in 1997.

The catalogue of happy memories Bernard made possible for his family contains many pages. Some of the most cherished memories was that he enjoyed taking his family to the beach in Atlantic City and Wildwood, NJ along with many weekend trips to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Drive in movie theaters were a personal treat he and his family loved. Bernard’s love for the arts never faded and he even inspired his children to appreciate the arts. He loved to sketch, draw, listen to music, dance, and see local theater productions. He was the life of the party dancing at weddings and never missed a chance to bust a move.

The greatest joy and treasure that his heart found was in Christ. In the early 90’s while in Houston getting treatment for a bout with cancer, Bernard surrendered his life to Jesus and made a confession of Faith.
He loved his Bible and spent years reading and praying the Word of God. He was devoted to the church and
regularly attended Mass at St Elizabeth Ann Seton in Springfield along with his Annie. Through the years, the Parish and Diocese have been very supportive of Bernard and Anna. Our family is very appreciative of that support especially that of Father Thomas Reidy.

Bernard was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Cecilia, his sisters Marge, Cecilia and Helen and brothers Euber, John, Joe, and Frank. He is survived by his beloved wife Anna of Springfield, MO, daughters Doreen and husband Arvis of Kingwood, TX, Karen and partner Jim of Woodward, OK and son David Reeves and partner Sheri of Springfield, MO. He also leaves behind 7 grandchildren,13 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

His loss will be felt deeply by his family and the friends who knew him best. His imprint is on all of us and will help sustain the memory of his love, unselfish nature, and sacrifice. We know that our Heavenly Father has welcomed you home with open arms, Dad. We can picture your first few days in heaven walking around with your favorite rubber sole shoes with wide eyes and a smile on your face saying, “Hey, Check it out”. Thank you for the love and devotion you gave to us. Those of us who are left behind will celebrate your life for the rest of ours. May you rest in peace immersed in the light and love of the Father.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11 am Saturday October 10, 2020 in Herman H. Lohmeyer Funeral Home 500 E. Walnut Street with services to begin at 11 am at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery.

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Memorial Program

We have provided a digital copy (PDF) of the Memorial Program that we supply at the time of the service. To Download this file please click the filename below. Bernard James McKairnes - Memorial Program

Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, October 10th, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Saturday, October 10th, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am
    Herman H. Lohmeyer Chapel
    500 E. Walnut Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, October 10th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Saturday, October 10th, 2020 11:00am
    Herman H. Lohmeyer Chapel
    500 E. Walnut Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Saturday, October 10th, 2020 | 12:30pm
    Saturday, October 10th, 2020 12:30pm
    Resurrection Cemetery
    4535 W. State Hwy EE
    Springfield, Missouri 65802
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Sandy Robinson

Posted at 12:10pm
My deepest sympathy to your entire family. Such a beautifully written life story, depicting an amazing life. You're all in my heart as you go through the days ahead.

David Reeves Posted at 09:17pm

Thank you for your kind words, my dear friend.

Kim Belin Posted at 01:51pm

I am so glad we had the privilege of caring for Mr. McKairnes and meeting his family. He and his story inspire me, and his family remains a blessing. What joy he must be experiencing now...he has finished his race, and ran it with distinction! Thank you for this loving tribute....Kim Belin

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