January 8, 1931 – July 29, 2020
SSG John Bernal, U.S. Army (Ret.) Jan 8, 1931 – July 29, 2020
John was born in Manhattan, New York. With a strong commitment to family even as a young boy, he returned to Cuba to rejoin his mother until she and the remaining family could permanently relocate to the United States. John graduated high school and attended City College until his voluntary enlistment in the US Army, where he was trained as a mechanical engineer at Fort Belvoir and subsequently dispatched to Korea in service to our Country during the Korean War. Achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant, John was honorably discharged from service, whereupon he completed college at SUNY Farmingdale, New York.
Applying his mastery of engineering from his Army service and formal education, John joined Grumman Aerospace Corporation in the mid-1950’s. There, he effected national and technological history through his contributions to projects such as the Lunar Excursion Module and the F-14 Tomcat jet fighter. Between shifts, John’s skilled hands and tireless spirit enabled him to build – on his own – his first home in Smithtown, New York. After some 40 years at Grumman, John retired to Dunnellon, Florida in 1994.
John will be fondly remembered as a man who loved to help anyone he could, and his reputation for being a very kind and soft spoken man with a quick wit and dry sense of humor will long endure. His passion for tinkering at the workbench was bested only by his dedication to family and appreciation for good food – every meal he ever ate was the “best meal he ever had!”
John is preceded in death by his parents Iluminado and Zorida Bernal, and his first wife Dolores (nee Batinsey). He is survived by his wife Adalina, son Douglas from his marriage to Dolores, grandchildren Gabriel and Sabrina, sister Teresa, stepsons Frank, Eric and Michael, and their children Frankie, Emily, Lucas, Abigail, Matthew and Liliana.
Dad, you we be sorely missed by all who got the chance to know you. Rest in peace, reunited with your loved ones and friends in heaven.
11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Florida National Cemetery
August 4, 2020
My grandfather was a wonderful, caring man. Every time we talked he would always ask if I had driven recently because I used to sit on my dads lap and steer when I was little and my grandpa was there to see it. That’s something I’ll never forget. Now every time I get in the car to drive, I think of him and smile. He always had a witty response to anything. I remember when I was little I walked into the kitchen for breakfast and he was making bacon and saying “oink oink” as he made it. I miss you so much abuelo. Love always