Campton, NH — Bernard "Bernie" Van Knowe, 76, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, at his home, lovingly cared for by his family after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass., on October 11, 1936, and where he spent his younger years until moving to Fairhaven, Mass. He was the son of the late James Albert and Muriel (MacDonald) Van Knowe.
Bernie returned to Danvers, Mass., at the age of 20, where he started his plumbing and heating business that he owned and operated, serving customers in Danvers and Salem for 47 years.
Bernie's first passion was for the sea, his second was for automobiles. He loved his trucks!
Benie was a member of the Bass Haven Yacht Club in Beverly, Mass., was an avid scuba diver, sailor and boater. He was also an active member of the Pemi-Baker Valley Republican Committee, the RNC and the NRA.
He and his wife built a home on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where they wintered for 10 years. They enjoyed hiking, boating, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, working around their home, and entertaining friends.
Bernie was a hard worker and a perfectionist. He always said "it's in the details!"
There was literally nothing Bernie could not accomplish from gardening, carpentry, electrical, restoring cars and boats, maintaining his own vehicles, even cooking. He had a great sense of humor and was a devoted friend.
Bernie was predeceased by his brother, Donald, and sisters, Muriel Reeley, and Harriet Powers.
Bernie was husband and best friend to his wife, Elaine "Wink" (Tracy), for 15 years. He was a proud dad of his five children, Joni Jones and her husband, Jeff, of Newmarket, N.H., James and his wife, Ginette, of Byfield, Mass., Judy McInnis of Ipswich, Mass., Jeffrey, who was also his business partner, and his wife, Diane, of Danvers, Mass., and Jennifer Mscisz of Danvers. He was stepfather to Tracy Palmer and her husband, Steve, of Keene, N.H., and Barbara Hadacek and her husband, John, of Lakeville, Minn. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; his brothers, Albert Van Knowe of T5 R9 Township, Maine, and Ronald Van Knowe of Middleton, Mass.; his sisters, Rosalie Marcotte and her husband, Roger, of Freetown, Mass., Bonnie Kobialka of Salem, Mass., and Sally Giaimo and her husband, Joe, of Sussex, N.J.; and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers donations may be given in his name to the Pemi Baker Hospice, 101 Boulder Point, Plymouth, NH 03264, or Exeter Hospital Cancer Care, c/o Jane Peterson, 5 Alumni Drive, Exeter, NH 03833.
ARRANGEMENTS: A graveside service will be held on Saturday, July 13, at Blair Cemetery in Campton, at 11 a.m. The Rev. Peter Bolster, pastor of the Campton Baptist Church, will officiate.
Due to construction on the Blair Covered Bridge, please use the following directions.
From I-93 North or South, take Exit 25, left at end of ramp, left at the top of the hill onto Route 175 North, go approximately four miles, turn left onto Blair Road (ignore detour signs) approximately 2/10 of a mile the cemetery is on the right.
Mayhew Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Plymouth and Meredith, are in charge of the services.
To sign Bernie’s Book of Memories, please go to www.mayhewfuneralhomes.com.