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Bernard (Bernie) Michael Ferencik, age 77, passed away December 16, 2020, with his loving children by his side.
Bernie was the first of four children and grew up in Youngstown Ohio. He attended The University of Youngstown before serving a tour of duty in Vietnam from 1967-68. In 1971 he married Margaret (Peggy) Austin and they moved to Honolulu, HI where he earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Hawaii. In 1987 he received a doctorate in sociology from the University Akron. In his professional career, he held positions in hospital and outpatient settings where he helped in the development of a crisis center and safe home for abused women and children. Bernie spent the last 20 years splitting his time between Hawaii and Atlanta. In Hawaii he was a substitute teacher when not enjoying the nature around him. In Atlanta, he lovingly cared for his two young grandchildren every summer. Other than spending time with family, there is no other place that he would rather be than enjoying the surf and sun on the Big Island of Hawaii. An outdoor enthusiast, he enjoyed sailing, surfing, biking and picking berries for the delicious pies he made. An amateur photographer, he captured many scenes of the beauty of Hawaii. He lived simply and cared for the Earth. While tending to his garden he enjoyed watching the hummingbirds on his back patio. A natural conversationalist, he never met a stranger. He was kind and loved by many. Special memories will live on in the hearts of his family and many others.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and John Ferencik and his sister, Joan Jones.
He is survived by his daughter, Rachel Van Valkenburg of Georgia, and son, Mark Ferencik (Candace) of North Carolina, 5 grandchildren, his sister Ruth Ferencik Conlon-Menlove (James) of Michigan and his brother John Ferencik (Sandy) of Ohio.
No memorial service is planned at this time. A celebration of life will take place in 2021. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, please consider donations to: Hawai’i Food Basket, 40 Holomua St. Hilo, HI 96720 https://www.hawaiifoodbasket.org/donate
“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” ~ Rachel Carson