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In Memory

Stephen G. Bernath - Class Of 1970 VIEW PROFILE

Stephen G. Bernath



Stephen G. Bernath

Jul. 14, 1952 - May 1, 1971

Published in the South Bend Tribune on Monday, May 3, 1971.

Source:  Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com

05/10/2024 DEC



Every day in B lunch at exactly 11:30 I could depend on seeing Tim Wantuch making his way toward my lunch table.

He greeted me with his usual, "Hi there, Jackie!" or "Boy, you sure do talk a lot." Some days I wished I could eat just one meal in peace. Today there will be no interruptions in my lunch.

On Saturday, May 1, sophomore Tim Wantuch and four others lost their lives in a car accident.  Among those dead are a Riley graduate, Steve (Pete) Bernath, and Patty Urbanski, a Jackson student. Two other Riley students, Diane Molnar and Jane Strzelecki were hospitalized.

The site of the head-on collision between the Bernath car and a car driven by Mr. Henry Strong, Jr. was Oak Road, one-fourth mile north of New Road. Both Mr. Strong and his wife are dead as a result of injuries received in the crash.

I believe I speak in behalf of the Riley student body in expressing sympathy to the families and friends of Steve Bernath, Tim Wantuch, and the Strongs. I want to help Diane and Jane recover as soon as possible, as I'm sure we all do. However, it is requested at this time that Diane should have no visitors. Her parents appreciate the thoughtfulness of her friends and will notify the school later on when she is able to have visitors.

NOTE: This story isn't exactly the best as far as ”form"  goes. It is sort of a combination of a news story with my personal feelings added in. But somehow a plain news story about the accident seemed so cold  like an obituary in the TRIBUNE or something. Maybe I was too emotionally involved with the kids in the accident, but because of my friendship with them I thought maybe I could write a better story than someone who did not know them well. Maybe I failed. I just thank God that I went on that trip to Ball State.  Otherwise I would have been with those kids. I don't think it was just luck that I fell asleep and didn't go with them -- there was something more than just luck to it.

Jackie Simmons

5/09/2024 djb






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