Obituary of Alex O. Bernal
Alex O. Bernal, 98, treasured husband, father, tata, uncle and WWII hero, died on September 26th 2023. Born in Mesa, AZ on January 14, 1925, he moved with his family to Tucson at a very young age. He attended Carrillo Elementary School, Safford Middle School, graduated from Tucson High School after his return from WWII service, and went on to attend University of Arizona.
Joining the Navy in 1943 at age 18, Alex served on the USS Rutilicus AK113 in the Pacific. On May 21, 1944, at Pearl Harbor Naval Air Base, West Loch, explosions occurred, claiming the lives of 163 naval personnel and six Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs). Because of a nearby explosion, Alex lost his hearing in one ear while helping save other sailors from the fiery water during what is known as the “Other Pearl Harbor” or the West Loch Disaster. Alex received a Naval Commendation from Admiral R. A. Spruance for his heroic effort in saving numerous lives.
Returning home to Tucson when the war ended, he met and courted Evangelina (Angie)Valenzuela Jaquez, marrying November 10, 1948. They raised four daughters and supported with the raising of their grandchildren. Alex served the rest of his career in civil service at Davis-Monthan AFB as Manager of freight transportation. During his retirement, he enjoyed working as a handyman at Rincon Country Mobile Home Park and for the City of Tucson as a softball umpire. Alex lectured throughout the Tucson area regarding his experiences as a Navy seaman during WWII.
Alex was a diehard and loyal Wildcat fan, following the football, baseball and basketball teams. He enjoyed watching old movies, especially Westerns, and working on various home projects. He was also active at the VFW and kept busy way into his late 80’s.
Alex is preceded in death by his loving wife of 55 years, Angie Bernal, daughter Sandra, grandson Ben, mother Rosario Bernal Ramirez, brothers Julio and Raul and sister Millie. He is survived by daughters Martha and Susan (Liz) Bernal and Virginia (Arnold) Stockham, grandchildren Kim (Beth) and Alex Smith, Marissa (Robert) Betancourt and Sarah Stockham and great-grandchildren Gabriel and Lucas Betancourt and countless nephews and nieces.
Our hearts and lives have been blessed and filled with your memories, your teachings and values. Thank you for all you have done for your family and always being there for us.
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