Nels Bernum Kleveland
July 22, 1925 – March 29, 2020
Nels Bernum Kleveland lived an impressive, full life. Born to Nels and Bessie McDonald Kleveland on July 22, 1925, he grew up on the family farm and attended country schools near Newman Grove, Nebraska where he graduated from high school in 1942. Bernum was baptized and confirmed at Shell Creek Lutheran Church. After attending Norfolk Junior College, he proudly served his country during WWII in the European Theater of Operation with the Army, Company C, Third Platoon, 24th Tank Battalion, 3rd Armored Division, as a Gunner. Bernum received many military medals, including two battle stars, one under General Patton (3rd Army) and one under General Eisenhower (1st Army), who he met and greatly admired. He left France for the USA on July 14, 1945 on a Liberty ship. He turned 20 years old while on the ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. While home on furlough, Japan surrendered. He was discharged after being stationed at Fort MacArthur, CA with a rank of Tech 5th Grade following his last official military assignment, typing his own discharge papers. Bernum then continued his education at the University of Nebraska, graduating With Distinction at the top of his class in the College of Engineering. While at the University he received a ROTC Second Lieutenant Reserve Commission in the Air Force, stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in the summer of 1949. In 1950 a Research and Development career opportunity in the field of industrial and aircraft pumps and valves took him to Cleveland, Ohio. His expertise earned him a promotion to Chief Mechanical Engineer where he developed and patented a nozzle steam safety valve for aircraft and other industrial equipment. He enjoyed his retirement by traveling to many countries and states with his dear friend, Raymond Brys. Many of their travels focused on family reunions, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, baptisms, first communions and confirmations. After making the best of every year he had, Nels Bernum Kleveland passed peacefully at his home on March 29, 2020. Bernie loved his and Ray Brys’ extended families; and they all loved him and miss him and his quick wit. In his final years and days, he especially appreciated the care and assistance of his nieces Pat Sjo and Marilyn Mecham. Bernie is well-remembered by his sister LaRiene Kleveland Sjo, as well as many nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews, the Brys family, friends, neighbors and caregivers. Preceding him in death were his parents, Ray Brys, sister and brother-in-law DeLoris and Clarence Nelson, and brothers and sisters-in-law Ervin and Rozelle Kleveland, and Laurence and Lupe Kleveland, and brother-in-law Eino Sjo. Following private family services in Cleveland and Newman Grove, Bernum will be laid to rest at Shell Creek Lutheran Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be shared with Newman Grove American Legion Post #73, PO Box 73, Newman Grove, NE 68758, designated for the new Veterans Memorial or to Shell Creek Lutheran Church, PO Box 428, Newman Grove, Nebraska 68758. A joyous Celebration of Bernie’s Life will be held at a later date. Visitation will take place on Wednesday April 1, 2020 at Holick Craciun Funeral Home, 23040 Center Ridge Rd Westlake, OH from 3PM until time of Departure Services at 5:30 PM.
Nels Bernum Kleveland
April 9, 2020
My dear uncle, and godfather, you were always there to love and support me. The consummate host, you made everyone feel welcome. You were such a fun-loving guy, and you kept us smiling… right to the very end. I love and miss you, and will cherish so many wonderful memories. May you Rest In Peace, sweet uncle, your joyful journey has just begun…
“Thanks for stopping by”
April 9, 2020
You are so loved and appreciated for being the best uncle, the fun uncle, witty with a sense of humor. The supreme entertainer who knew how to throw a childhood birthday party and later when I was an adult, dinner in Cleveland complete with your favorite Manhattan. Celebrating special family events and reunions was an on-going tradition.
I always looked forward to visiting you in your home with Ray, hearing your stories, and sharing in the laughter. I am grateful for having you in my life and cherish these loving memories. Wishing you peace in your eternal home.
Mary Jane German
April 8, 2020
So sorry for your loss. He was a man of many accomplishments. I enjoyed meeting him at Emily and Jeff’s reception at the German farm a few years ago.
April 7, 2020
Thanks for a lifetime of sweet memories, Uncle Bernum. You were our favorite, fun-loving uncle who always made occasions so special for us and mixed the tastiest Manhattans of all! We were fortunate to share many milestones in our lives with you. Your generosity in so many ways touched us all. We love you and miss you greatly.
Debbie Sjo Conrad
April 7, 2020
Bernum was the BEST uncle ever! ❤️ We were so blessed to have had him in our lives. We have so many wonderful memories of special and fun times with our Uncle Bernum that we will keep in our hearts forever. We will miss our visits. Rest In Peace, Uncle Boon.
April 1, 2020
I have so many fond memories of Uncle Bernum throughout my life. We enjoyed many family events, road trips, and visits in his home. He was proud to share Cleveland’s sights and restaurants. Bernie was blessed with a long life and great friends. I will miss his humor and companionship.