Much like when John Wayne remarked “I’m the stuff men are made of”, Bernie always had a sense of rugged strength. Never one to stay in life’s slow lane, even his high school yearbook remarked he was “always in stitches”. He wrecked a few cars in his youth, but as he grew older he found out that although four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul. Clear weather, his Harley and a trip through the Pines often made for the perfect day. But Bernie never limited his outdoor adventures to just the paved world; he loved to fish and hunt. He was a crack shot and always hit his target. He didn’t have a story about the one that got away. And although he wasn’t the type of guy to show weakness, he was never quiet about how much he cared about his family. Whether it was his wife and kids, grandkids, his many brothers and sister-in-laws, or even his beloved yellow lab, Cody, they all knew they were the most important thing to him.
There is never anything fun about a hernia operation. But while recovering from one, Bernie met a young woman named Cathy (nee Bucchi) who had accompanied a mutual friend to visit him. Together, they made their home in Riverside and were blessed with 42 years of marriage. He is also survived by his children: Melissa Clemens (Jeff) of Roebling, Bernie (Donna) of Delanco and Shawn of Riverside, his grandchildren: Shannon, Cory “Kiddo” and Danielle, his brothers: Jim (Lynne), Billy (Carol), Joe (Liz), Danny (Margaret), Andrew (Sue), Brendon (Annette) and Mark (Debbie) as well as by his many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Griffin and his faithful dog, Cody.
Come celebrate Bernie’s 67 wonderful years (June 9, 1946 – July 20, 2013) on Thursday, July 25th at 4 PM at the Sweeney Funeral Home, 337 Bridgeboro St., Riverside, NJ 08075. The service will be at 6 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the family via the funeral home’s address.