HERMITAGE-Joseph E. “Ernie” Bernice, 84, passed away peacefully on Tuesday evening March 14, 2023 in the Trumbull Regional Medical Center.
Ernie was born in Youngstown on January 15, 1939 the son of Joseph W. and Irene (Habeger) Bernice.
He was a 1956 graduate of Chaney High School and would go on to graduate from Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and receive his Master’s Degree from the University of Florida. He served as a professor for twenty-seven years in the Environmental Biology & Life Science Department of Edinboro University, retiring in 1993. During his time at Edinboro he had been Chairman of the Biology Department and following his retirement he was awarded his honorary doctorate degree for his dedicated service.
Ernie was a passionate outdoorsman who enjoyed all aspects of hunting, fishing, and was a member of the Conservation Club. Following his retirement, he also had served as a Waterways Patrolman for the Pennsylvania Fish & Game Commission and as a Ranger for the Shenango River Reservoir. He enjoyed spending time as the former Scoutmaster of Mahoning Valley Troop #45 and served as the Program Director for the BSA Summer Camp at Camp Twin Spruce in Columbiana County, OH. Ernie had also been a member of the Penn-Ohio Singers where he was honored as their 2014 Barbershopper of the Year
Ernie was a longtime devoted member of the Oakland Avenue United Methodist Church of Sharon for many years. He was a member of the Shenango Valley Lodge #810 Free & Accepted Masons where he had served as Worshipful Master during 1997, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2009, 32nd Degree Scottish Rite New Castle Consistory, Zem Zem Shrine Erie, PA, and the Mercer County Shrine Club.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-six years the former Janet M. Wilhide whom he married on April 2, 1966; by his children Daniel Bernice and his wife Tessa of Hermitage and Patricia Andrews of Greensboro, NC; sister Marylin Ruth Gill of Pulaski, TN; seven grandchildren Destiny Andrews, Joan Marie Andrews, Jocelyn Beabout and her husband Josh, Cameron Bernice, Kaden Bernice, Coltin Bernice, Aidan Boosel; and by great-grandchildren Samuel Malachi Ramos, Beckley, Brinley, and Boone Beabout.
He was preceded in death by parents.
Friends may call on Sunday March 19, 2023, from 3-6:00PM at the Sample- O'Donnell Funeral Home at 555 East State Street in Sharon, PA. Masonic services will be held at 3:00PM.
Funeral services will be held on Monday morning beginning at 11:00AM in the funeral home with Rev. Kelley Schanely officiating.
Burial will take place at Home Cemetery in Youngstown, OH.
Friends are invited to express their condolences and share their memories with Ernie’s family by visiting www.sampleodonnellfh.com.
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