Bernard Francis Sand, 96, passed from this life at Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown on January 17, 2020.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, January 27, at St. Edward Catholic Church. Visitation will be 2-5:00 p.m. Sunday, at Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup Funeral Service on West Ridgeway where there will be a 2:00 p.m. rosary. Burial will be Tuesday, 11:00 a.m. at St. Benedict’s Cemetery, Nebraska City, Nebraska with Military Honors conducted by the Nebraska National Guard Funeral Honors Detail and the Talmage American Legion.
Bernard was born October 20, 1923, in Nebraska City, Nebraska, the son of John Joseph and Laura Gude Sand. He was a 1940 graduate of St. Bernard’s Academy in Nebraska City. At age 18 he voluntarily joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving from 1942-1946 as a pilot with the 13th Troop Carrier Squadron, Pacific Theatre of Operations. During World War II, Bernard flew cargo planes, hauled supplies, and carried wounded soldiers, never failing to complete a mission. He was awarded the Air Medal with one cluster. Following his honorable discharge, he served as a Captain in the Reserve Air Corps while attending Creighton University in Omaha. He graduated from Creighton School of Medicine in 1953, served his internship at Receiving Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, and completed his residency in general surgery at Wadsworth General Hospital, Los Angeles, California.
Bernard practiced general surgery in Waterloo, Iowa, from 1959 until retirement in 1992. He continued to assist in surgery until age 91. He practiced medicine skillfully with precision and compassion, treating all his patients equally, and caring for many patients without pay. He decried waste in the health care system, and during his long medical career, gleaned surplus and useable second-hand medical equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for transport to Central American hospitals facilitated by the Iowa City Rotary Club. He was totally devoted to medicine, yet he never lost his love of flying and often said what he enjoyed most was piloting a plane.
On August 17, 1950, Bernard was united in marriage to Barbara Bischof at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Nebraska City. They were married for 67 years ending with Barbara’s passing in March, 2018. Bernard loved his large family and was the fixer of all things broken—rebuilding swing sets and fences, repairing, and refinishing furniture, spending part of every Christmas in the basement mending toys. He was a woodworker—his largest piece a beautiful, sturdy, and long bench for the kitchen table. He made hundreds of rosaries by knotting nylon cord and gave nearly all of them away to anyone who needed one. He planted trees and the obligatory annual tomato garden. In his 60s and 70s, he competed in racquetball tournaments and exercised regularly until the last month of his life. He had a very independent nature and until age 94 did much of his own house and yard work. Bernard was also dedicated to St. Edward Church, volunteering as a frequent lector and, later in life, as a daily sacristan.
He is survived by his ten children: Sr. Helen Anne Sand, RGS, Paris, France; Mary Sand (Von Kaster), Ames, IA; Martha Christians (Gary), Lehigh, IA; Rita Maniotis, Berwyn, IL; John Sand (Melinda), Leawood, KS; Mark Sand (Rose), Omaha, NE; Beth Giddens (Gary), Monmouth, OR; Paul Sand (Karen), Redwood City, CA; Peter Sand (Diane), Urbandale, IA; Sara Sand, Cedar Rapids, IA. He is survived by his 27 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, John Joseph, two infant sisters, and his dear wife, Barbara.
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