Bernie (Bernd) John Melzer went to be with his Lord and Saviour on Friday September 10, 2021, after a courageous, year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Bernie was born on March 20, 1963, to Waldemar and Tabea Melzer in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The family moved to Kelowna, BC when he was six years old. He was a happy, energetic child. Bernie was constantly on the move and spent untold hours riding his bike, skateboarding, playing his drum kit and skiing at Last Mountain.
In his teens, Bernie began to grow in his love for people and for God. He loved serving the customers and staff at his first job at People’s Food Market. He also valued the hours he spent with his friends, praying together, serving others and growing in their understanding of God’s love.
After graduating from Mount Boucherie Secondary School in 1981, Bernie moved to Edmonton, Alberta to attend North American Baptist Bible College for a year. There, he met his future wife Julia and in 1983, they were married. The couple lived in Edmonton while Bernie completed his training as a Respiratory Therapist. He graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1986, receiving the award of excellence.
After graduating, they moved back to British Columbia. Bernie worked at Royal Columbian Hospital and in 1988, their first child, Jillian, was born. In 1990, the young family moved to Kelowna where he began working at Kelowna General Hospital. A few months later, their second daughter, Emily, was born.
Bernie loved being a husband to Julia and a father to Jillian and Emily. Their home was full of love and laughter. In addition, Bernie pursued many sports and interests. He completed one marathon and two triathlons, enjoyed snowboarding, mountain biking and he was especially passionate about kiteboarding. He also developed a love for wood work. Together, Bernie and Julia called themselves “Team Melzer” as they took on vintage camper restorations and home renovation projects. They also loved to travel.
In the last nine years, one of Bernie’s greatest joys was being a grandpa. How he loved his three little grandchildren! They brought such richness to his life.
Bernie believed that his most important role in life was being a follower of Jesus. He loved Jesus with all his heart and it was his life’s purpose to love all people as Jesus had unconditionally loved him. If you were
drawn to the big heart of Bernie Melzer, Bernie would want you to know that you were being drawn to the heart of Jesus within him.
Bernie was predeceased by his parents Waldemar and Tabea Melzer and his father-in-law Hans Krump.
He leaves behind his beloved wife of 38 years, Julia; his daughters Jillian (Manny), Emily (Nadine); and three darling grandchildren Uriah, Isaac, and Havana. He also leaves behind his brothers George (Hildi), Dennis, and sister Verena (Paul); his nephews and nieces Jordi (Vanessa), Anna (Clayton), Josiah and Abigail. He also leaves his mother-in-law Elisabeth; brother-in-law Hans (Mary), sister-in-law Debbie; and nephews Brandon and Trevor Krump.
Due to Interior Health Region’s Covid restrictions, a private memorial service and celebration of life will be held in Salmon Arm, BC on Saturday October 2nd, 2021. The service will be live-streamed and a recording will be available to watch afterwards for those who can’t attend. On the day of the memorial click on this link to attend:
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the BC Cancer Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Research division. Pancreatic cancer is so deadly because it’s diagnosed too late. Researchers are looking for ways to improve early detection and new ways to treat this horrible disease. https://bccancerfoundation.com/why-give/research/pancreatic/
To send flowers to Bernie's family, please visit our floral store.