Bernard Robert Gratzer, Sr. of St. Clair, MO, departed this life in St. Clair on October 8, 2016, having reached the age of eighty-nine years and seven months. Bernard was born in St. Louis, MO, on March 8, 1927, son of Meinrad Gratzer and Flossie Gratzer nee McCance. On August 14, 1948, he was united in marriage to Beulah Maxine Tate and three sons came to bless this union.
Bernard is survived by his son, William M. Gratzer, Sr., known to all as Bill, and wife, Lori, Bernard R. Gratzer, Jr., known to all as Bob, and wife, Sally, and Bruce E. Gratzer and wife, Leann, all of St. Clair, MO; by one brother, James Gratzer, known to all as Jim, and wife, Jean, of St. Clair; by thirteen grandchildren, William M. Gratzer, Jr., known to all as Mike, and wife, Jenna, Jason Gratzer and girlfriend, Leslie, Jared Gratzer and wife, Jennifer, and Dane Gratzer, all of St. Clair, Beth Smith and husband, Chris, of Eureka, MO, Becky Lowder and husband, Vince, and Kristin Wheeler and husband Clint, both of St. Clair, Bernard R. Gratzer, III, known to all as Robbie, and wife, Sara, of Union, MO, Loriann Glass and husband, Bruce, Stephanie and Danielle Gratzer and Derek and Taylor Crow, all of St. Clair; by twenty-two great-grandchildren, brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, great and great-great-nieces and nephews, cousins and many friends.
Bernard was preceded in death by his parents,Meinrad and Flossie Gratzer; and by his wife, Beulah Gratzer.
Bernard was a Christian and member of the United Methodist Church in St. Clair for over fifty years. He was a past member of the church board, had served many years on the church's cemetery committee and was always there to lend a helping hand in the kitchen or where ever needed at church functions. He was often seen chauffeuring the elderly ladies of the church to appointments or functions they needed to get to. Bernard was proud to have served his country as a Sergeant in the United States Army, entering July 6, 1945 and receiving his honorable discharge on December 1, 1946. After his discharge he settled in the St. Clair area and began his career as a postal worker retiring after thirty years. He served as rural mail carrier at Lonedell Post Office beginning in 1958, preceded by a year with the main post office in St. Louis, MO, and ten years with Murray Equipment Company. He is a retiree of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association. Bernard was proud to say that he had never missed a day of scheduled work.
Bernard was an outgoing man and had been a member for over fifty years of both the Order of Eastern Star, St. Clair Chapter 96 and Easter Lodge 575, A.F & A.M. He was also a member of The Supreme Council of the 33rd and Last Degree Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction. Through the years as a mail carrier and organizations member, Bernard has made many friends, and he would gladly lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He spent time at the holidays delivering food baskets to make sure others had a good holiday. Bernard was truly a family man and no matter what task needed done for his family, he was happy to a do it. His sons and grandchildren were his pride and joy and he cherished the time they spent together.
A devoted and loving father, father-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, great and great-great-uncle, cousin and friend, he will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew and loved him.
Masonic services were held at 7:00 PM Tuesday, October 11, 2016, at Russell Colonial Funeral Home in St. Clair, MO. Funeral services were at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, October 12, 2016, at the funeral home with the Rev. John Hampton, Jr. officiating. Interment with full military honors was in Fairview United Methodist Cemetery in Grubville, MO. Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Church in St. Clair, MO.