Nicholas J. Bernelis

Hale, Michigan
November 12, 1965 - April 30, 2017

Obituary Notice

Nicholas “Nick” John Bernelis, of Hale, formerly of Bay City, passed away on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at his home, age 51 years. Nick was born on December 12, 1965 in Bay City to Theodore and Evelyn (Galloner) Bernelis. After his high school graduation, Nick enlisted and proudly served our country in the Military Police under the United States Army for three years. After his honorable discharge from the Army, Nick worked as a Paramedic in the Saginaw and Arenac Counties for several years. He began working for Mobile Medical Response (MMR) in 1994 when it began operating. In June of 2001, Nick assumed the title of Operations Manager for Iosco County EMS, and served in this position until 2016 when he was promoted to the Director of Northern Operations for MMR. Nick was also a Firefighter in Iosco County and previously had served on both the AuGres and East Tawas fire departments. Nick truly cared for his community and strived to help others. Nick married his wife and best friend, Carolyn (Schantz) on September 7, 2010. Together they enjoyed the peace and quiet of the outdoors, especially hunting, fishing, and boating. Nick and Carolyn always looked forward to taking road trips around Michigan and going to different casinos. He will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Nick is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn Bernelis of Hale; 2 sons, Eric and Andy Bernelis both of Bay City; 2 step children, Kristen (Robert) Wood of Oscoda, and Raymond Bellant (Melissa Buckelew) of Oscoda; 4 grandchildren, Ryan, Nolan, Emily, and Madyson; his mother, Evelyn Bernelis of Bay City; brothers and sisters, Dennis (Maggie) Bernelis of Missouri, Sue (Greg) Przbylski of Bay City, Clare (Jim) Byrne of Bay City, Sandy (Bo) Taylor of Bay City, Helen (Joe) Marcinkowski of Bay City, Bill Bernelis of Bay City, Peter (Leslie) Bernelis of Arkansas, Ginny Bernelis of Bay City, John Bernelis of Standish, Matt (Terri) Bernelis of Genesee, Tom (Melissa) Bernelis of Saginaw, Terry (Kelly) Bernelis of Essexville, Kim (Neil) Mead of Bay City, and a sister-in-law, Sherri Bernelis of Bay City ; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and very special friends. Nick is preceded in death by his father, Theodore Bernelis, and 2 brothers, George Bernelis and Christopher Bernelis.

Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 1:00 PM at the Buresh Funeral Home in Tawas City. His family will welcome friends at the funeral home on Thursday from 11:00 AM until the time of the service. Cremation will take place following the funeral service. An online guest registry is available at


Sorry for your loss as Nick was a great man. Your family will be in my families prayers during these trying times.
— Scott and Katie Frank and family
Carol, Eric, Andy and Bernelis family - I am so very sorry for your devastating loss. Nick was such a nice and genuine person and I will miss his warm smile. This is a tremendous loss for our MMR family too - he will missed greatly. We are very proud of his service to his community and to his fellow employees. I'm so grateful that we got to have dinner at the St. Mary's event recently.
— Lynn Schutter
Nick you'll be missed I didn't know you long but you had a super personality .
— Mark McKulsky
Your example of leadership inspired me to strive for the best in my professional career with MMR. Thanks for your guidance, caring, and concern throughout the short time I worked with you. You are sorely missed.
— Jim Sturgill
It is with great sadness that we hear of Nick's passing. He was a great friend and co-worker, and he will be greatly missed. We wish you God's peace during this time.
— Dean and Susann Alger
My condolences to your family. Praying for comfort and peace during your time of need.
— Michele Carter
He was a great man. I served with him in Germany. Nich is going to be truly missed. My family's prayers are with you. Sean Hughes
— Sean Hughes
So very sorry to Carol and Nick's boys as well as the entire Bernelis family. I worked with Nick from the day he started at Iosco Co EMS. He was good to work worth and for, always loved to joke around. I was with him on 9/11 when the World Trade Ctr was under attack and I'll never forget the look we had on our faces watching that. I know he will be sadly missed by many.
— Kim Landon
Nick it was a pleasure to work with you while serving with the Michigan State Police and now in my civilian career. You always had time to assist us and play whatever role that was required to get the job done. Your professionalism mixed with your wit was always welcomed and will never be forgotten. Our hearts go out to you and your loved ones. May God meet you with open arms and grant peace to those who loved you so much.
— Timothy Gronda
So sorry to hear of Nick's passing! We served together in Germany and he was an incrediblely funny guy! My prayers are with you!
— Mike Dessinger
I would like to extend my condolences to all of Nicks family.
Prayers for comfort and peace in the days to follow.

God Bless the entire family .
— Carolyn Shatwell Landingham
I am so truly sorry for your loss. Although I did not personally know Nick, working with Eric hearing him talk about his dad with such love and pride, I wish I would've had the honor. Prayers of healing for your family in this time of mourning. Sincerely.
— Andrea Rogers
I will miss the sight of Nick showing up at an emergency scene and knowing that he would take control and make things so much better..and will miss those lunches at the firehall. I did not know you well..but will miss in peace my friend..we will take it from here..
— Randy Look
I good person and a good man. I am proud to say I knew and worked with him. I will miss him greatly. To his family, I will not be able to attend the funeral. But please know my prayers for your comfort in this time of grief are being sent. May God comfort and keep you all. Kevin Moffit.
— Kevin Moffit
Nick was one of the most genuinely kind hearted person I have had the opportunity to have worked with and to have known. He was a true asset to his profession, and the patients he served. My sympathy to his family.
— Michael Rant
To Nicks family he was one excellent paramedic
partner and co-worker at Flightcare. He will be forever remembered by me.
— Cindy Heaton
To Nick's family he was an excellent paramedic partner and co-worker with me at FlightCare. He will be remembered and never forgotten.
— Cindy Heaton
Nick you sure will be missed love you very much Peter an lesli an family
— Bernelis
Nick was my brother, we served together in Germany, he was a good friend and a good man. He will be missed by us all. Until we meet at the towerline in the sky, keep watch over us my brother.
— Dan Momany
Tom, we are so sorry to hear about your brother. You and your family are in our prayers. Love Matt and Stacy
— Stacy LaHaie
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Nick. He was such a wonderful person with a beautiful soul. He will be missed by many.
— Katy Butzin
Nick has been a huge impact on me and my career. He was my first manager in EMS, but he was more than that. Nick gave me the opportunity to be a road supervisor at a young age and with less experience than some. He showed belief in me even when I lacked confidence. He was a good man, leader and a friend. I will not forget him.
I offer my condolences and my support for you all in this time of mourning.
I will keep my boots polished and my gig line as straight as I can. Rest easy Charlie1
— Matthew Petrovich
Life on this earth is often much shorter than we expect, and Nick's departure was a shock. I have had the privilege of knowing Nick and occasionally working with him for 22 plus years and will sincerely miss him and his "grin" and his concern for others. Andy and Eric have a big void in their lives now, and I pray that all will be well. Sincere sympathy to all the entire family, and I hope and pray Nick is remembered by all at MMR, and in his family for his devotion to family and his work, and that we will all keep everyone in our prayers at his passing. Tech # 617 MMR
— Ricky R. Rockwell
Nick was a fine soldier. Well liked and respected by his peers. I was proud to have served alongside him.
— Aaron Charles
Bernelis family,
I'm very sorry to hear of Nick's passing. His sincerity, kindness, and compassion will truly be missed. I always enjoyed the days when he'd come in to say Hi and the phone calls with homework questions. He was one of the last people I spoke to before leaving MMR and I'll remember his friendship fondly.
— Bill Dean
Carole and family, I am so sorry to hear about Nick. I greatly enjoyed working with him and I will truly miss him.
— Loretta Ellsworth
I consider all the men and women I served with while in Germany to be the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure to know. Nick stood out as a great guy you always wanted to be around. I was proud to know him back then and even more proud of how he served his community after he left us. Losing Nick leaves all of us who knew him with a feeling of great loss. My prayers are with Carolyn and their children tonight.
— Roger Sexton
My deepest condolences to Nick's family. While I didn't know Nick well, I admired him. He cared about his Emergency Service family and wanted the best for them. Prayers for his family.
— Kathy Pardo
Carol, Andy and Eric I was shocked to hear of Nick's passing. He was an honest caring person. I had the privilege of working side by side with Nick for several years. He brought the best to ICEMS. He would put in 120% on every task he was assigned. His patient care was the best for the patient, the patients family or friends and working partners. Nick was honest, caring, professional and very qualified in every thing he did. Carol he always spoke highly of you. He will greatly be missed.
— Randy Hauk
Taken way too soon. Hoping your family will remember the happy times. We worked with him in Iosco and again in Crawford. He will be missed.
— Bill and Nancy Baker
To the entire Bernelis families -

The Nowak families hearts are with you and your entire family. No words can describe how sorry we are for your loss. Our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy. From Michigan to Florida we are with you and your families during this difficult time.
— The Nowak Family
My deepest condolences to you all. Nick was a great man and a great friend. I will miss him greatly, as will our whole community.
— Ben Eby
Offering my deepest condolences to the family on the loss of your dear loved one. May " the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trials " be with you during this most difficult time. 2Cor1 : 3,4 Isa41 : 10,13 Rev21 : 4 Ps147 : 3
— Stephanie
Dear Nick's Family,
Although I only knew Nick through county administrative type meetings several years ago, I can say he truly lifted my day when he was present. His greetings and smile were like rays of sunshine. And I know others felt the same as well. He will be missed by many: family, close friends, and also those of us who only knew him slightly but felt his "Have a nice day" type of comments really meant have a nice day.
— Patricia Schmidt
So sorry, to hear of the lost. Of a great man, awesome friend. Nick, will be missed by many.
— Lawrence Scott Kerkau
To Nick's Family; We just heard of Nicks passing, our thoughts and prayers are sent your way that you find peace and comfort in Gods love. I remember you, Nick, when we were very young and your sister Helen-Helen would come over with you little guys and hang out at our house, sitting in the back entrance and laughing up a storm! You will be missed...God Bless all of you
— Tom and Becky (Janowicz) Dziesinski

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