Bernhold Rankenburg A member of our community since 1983, died peacefully on Wednesday, December 19th at his home. His wife of forty-four years was at his side. He was 84.
Born in Wisconsin on the Mississippi River, his family soon moved to south-eastern Minnesota, where they farmed. When Bernhold was 18 he enrolled at the University of Minnesota. Before completing his degree in engineering, he enlisted in the army. After three years of service in Panama, he completed his UM degree on the GI Bill and then moved to Los Angeles, where he pursued graduate studies in psychology before finding employment with Bechtel.
Bernhold worked for the US Forest Service as a civil engineer for 35 years. Except for three years in Alaska, he and his family lived in the Bay Area, first in Berkeley and then in Napa, where his three sons grew up.
Following his retirement, Bernhold volunteered with a number of organizations in the Napa area. A member of several writing groups, he spent a lot of time in the last decade reading and writing poetry. He also enjoyed cooking, working in his garden, hunting and studying French.
Bernhold will dearly be missed by his wife, sons, many friends and his two dogs.
My horse stumbles in the snow and I’m reminded
we all stumble and still move on.
The South Fork, like our lives is almost iced over now, silent and subtle those unseen currents always watch.
The little rise, snow covered with stubble rattling in the wind was flowered yesterday.
He perks his ears at coyotes yipping like lost children those you might have known.
Then the huge expanse of windswept prairie meets me as I top a rise.
How fresh the stale wind seems like the first day of creation.
My horse plods on while the gloom gently clothes us like a mother.
As always, He knows the way I dream of warmth your face in flowering time.
3.26.1934 – 12.19.18