Charles A. Bernheiser, 82 of Hamburg, PA, peacefully went home to be with God while surrounded by his family at St. Joseph’s Medical Center on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Charles was the son of the late James Bernheiser and Fern (Aulenbach) Noll. He was born on January 28, 1939, in Reading, PA, and was a graduate of Reading High School, Class of 1956.
Charles was predeceased by his sister, Claire Ann Focht, and his parents. Charles is lovingly remembered by his surviving former spouse, Valerie Bernheiser as well as his children and family including Lorrie Stroup and husband Kenneth (DE), Tanya Follett and husband Christopher (WA), Landon Bernheiser and wife Debra (Spring Twp.), Greta Jones and husband Chuck (Blandon), Nathan Bernheiser and wife Melanie (Robesonia), and Emmett Bernheiser (Leesport). Charles is survived by 19 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Charles was a thoughtful, problem-solver who enjoyed the challenges of innovation. He generally loved the arts, sciences, and philosophy, while serving others in various capacities through his work and other endeavors. He loved his work and his family. Charles was loved by those who knew him.
Charles lived an impassioned life in pursuit of many interests beginning with his service to the U.S. Army. Charles was proud to share the occasional story of his military service in which he developed an interest in cooking through KP (kitchen patrol) duty. Throughout his life, Charles never lost his enthusiasm for food and was a “foodie” until he passed.
Although his career had many facets, he primarily served as an industrial designer in the eyeglass business. In addition to serving in executive leadership roles for international retail brands such as Gargoyles Performance Eyewear and Apollo Eyewear, Charles enjoyed many years of success as an entrepreneur in plastics manufacturing here in Reading, PA. Charles was an inventor and holds several patents. He was a proud designer/operator of one of the only fully pneumatic plastics manufacturing facilities locally. Charles also served as a pneumatic consultant to other local manufacturers.
Charles had a zeal for his hobbies. As a registered Gemologist and GIA Certified Jeweler, Charles charmed many friends and family with his jewelry creations. In addition to jewelry, Charles was an artist both with pencils and paint. Charles had a deep appreciation of music and his favorite genre was jazz. Some of his fondest memories were attending evening concerts in the Seattle jazz circuit. As an avid reader, Charles preferred science fiction and mystery styles which led to opening two bookstores. One was located in Reading, PA, and the other in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. In addition, Charles had a love for flying and was a student actively working towards his private pilot license.
Charles was intrigued by spirituality and studied philosophy including Catholicism and Judaism early in life. After marrying Valerie, Charles joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and continued in this faith for more than twenty years. After years of service to the Church, he was appointed as the Bishop, a leadership position serving the local congregation, in which he voluntarily served for more than ten years. During his time in the Church, Charles was best known as the “DJ” at the Church musical functions and always volunteered to participate in the local welfare farm programs.
The family invites friends to join together at a Celebration of Life Open House to honor a life well-lived and very well-loved on January 29, 2022, at 6-8 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 3344 Reading Crest Avenue, Reading, PA 19605. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make donations to Meals on Wheels using the Berks Encore website https://berksencore.org/donate/