Bernie “Bunny” Mattern passed away on Friday, October 13, 2017 surrounded by his family. He was born December 29, 1932 to Conrad and Caroline (Welder) Mattern in Glencross, SD. Bernie was the 7th of nine children that lived in McIntosh, SD where the family owned and operated the local grocery store.
Bernie enlisted with the US Navy in 1950, but after 30 days and a failed eye exam, he was honorably discharged. He married his sweetheart, Virginia Pudwill, in August of that same year. They were blessed with three daughters, Jenniffer, Stephanie and Kimberly. Bernie was an all-around handyman with many special talents. His hobbies included building (treehouses, garages, workshops, decks and cupolas), woodworking, golf (two holes in one!), sporting events (anything that included a ball and a grandchild), playing pool, reading and the ancestral research for his published Mattern Family History book.
Bernie, Virginia and the girls spent many weekends at Virginia’s parents’ farm in Post Falls. While the girls played, Bernie toiled. Then the family cabin on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River became the weekend spot. The cabin and its surroundings bear witness to his handiwork and will continue to be enjoyed by the family for years to come.
Bernie was committed to the Elks Club of Wallace where he served as an officer. In 1973, he was proud to bring home the trophy for the National Ritualistic Contest, Western Division, All American Exalted Ruler.
His working career started in McIntosh at the Corson County News. The family then moved to Lemmon, SD where Bernie managed the Lemmon Tribune. The next stop was Cut Bank, MT managing the Glacier County News. In 1962 the family moved to Wallace, ID, their home for many years to come. Bernie started at the North Idaho Press then on to managing the Coeur d’Alene’s Company. In 1968 he started working for the Bunker Hill Mine as a Senior Buyer until the company ceased operations in 1986. Bernie then worked for Nevada Goldfields in Kingston Village and Reno, NV and later at their offices in Denver, CO. He ended his working career at Ponderosa Drilling and retired at the age of 63.
Bernie is preceded in death by Virginia Mattern and two older brothers, Pete Mattern and Frank Mattern. Survivors include his siblings; Ann Mattern, Lena Glines, Elvina Sexton, Eugene (Eileen) Mattern, Paul (Loretta) Mattern and Barbara (Ted) Walker; 3 daughters, Jenniffer (Dan) Carrico, Stephanie (Jim) Byrd and Kimberly (Tim Redfern) Mattern; 5 grandchildren, Tony (Dani) Carrico, Lindsay (Dennis) Clark, Nicholas (Kyla) Byrd, Amanda Byrd, Andrew (Vera) Byrd; 10 great grandchildren, Mia and Allison Carrico, Parker and Abigail Neff, Austin, Rylan, Evia and Axel Byrd, Paetlyn and Everlee Byrd as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express a very special thank you to the staff at Ivy Court in Coeur d’Alene for taking such special care of our father.
To celebrate his life an Elks Funeral Service will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, October 28 at the Wallace Elks. A reception for family and friends will follow at the same location. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Wallace Elks Lodge, B.P.O.E #331, 419 Cedar Street, Wallace, ID 83873.