Edgar Bernell McIntire was born on December 27, 1925 to Edgar A. and Elsa Hunsaker McIntire in Standrod, Utah, and passed away on May 2, 2020, in Apache Junction, Arizona. Bernell grew up on a small Heyburn, Idaho farm, graduating from Heyburn High at 16. He attended the University of Idaho, Southern Branch, until joining the US Army Air Force in 1943. Bernell served as a B-17 ball turret gunner in WWII, completing 35 combat missions before being honorably discharged in October 1945.
Shortly after returning home, Bernell accepted a mission call for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was assigned to the German-speaking part of Switzerland where he learned to speak German fluently. This set a professional course for Bernell. At the end of his 2½ year mission, he attended Brigham Young University where he studied history and advanced courses in German. During his upper graduate years, he was asked to teach beginning courses in German until he graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts in German. He continued his study of German literature, spending a year at the University of Vienna, Austria, then returned to BYU to complete course work to earn a Master of Arts. Soon, he was awarded a fellowship at the University of Michigan where he completed his thesis, earning a PhD in German. In 1959, Bernell accepted a professorship position at Arizona State University, teaching German language and literature until 1973.
Bernell married Bertha Mortensen from Phoenix, Arizona in 1950. Together, they had seven children: Juli (1951), Robin Ann (1953), Jill (1954), Michael (1956), Lisa Lee (1959), Dan (1960), and Jan (1963). Unfortunately, Jan only lived a few hours. Through the Indian Placement Program of the LDS church, two young men joined the family–Freddie Logg, (Navajo) and Floyd Baxter (Choctaw).
In August of 1970, Bertha’s younger brother, Maland and his wife, Barbara, were killed in a plane crash, leaving six children all under the age of 11: Keith age 10, Fred 9, Kelly 7, Summer 6, Cindy 4 and Robin 21 months. These children became an integral part of the McIntire family, expanding the number of children at home to 14. In 1977, Bernell and Bertha divorced. With Bertha leaving the home, Bernell continued to care for and support all the children.
In 1978, Bernell married Lora Clawson Valentine in the LDS Mesa Temple, adding her four children, Cole, Logan, Troy, and Delight to the family. Together, Bernell and Lora worked diligently to blend this group of 18 unique individuals into a cohesive, loving family.
In 1989, Bernell and Lora accepted an assignment with the BYU China Teacher’s Program to teach English at the Nanjing Institute of Chemical Technology. They returned in 1993-94 and again in 1998-99. In 1995-96, they were called as missionaries for the LDS Church to teach English in Mexico, first in Oaxaca and then in Celaya. After this, they served as missionaries for the Church in Mongolia, Moldova, and finally Bulgaria. They also served two state-side missions–as historic site missionaries in St. George, Utah in 2003-04, and at the LDS Church Employment Center in Mesa from 2008-2010.
It was Bernell’s great desire to live to be 95 years old and surpass his grandfather, Orlando Dana (O.D.) McIntire. Based on the May 2, 2020 decease date, he would have fallen a little short. However, several months ago, it was found that the life duration of O.D. had been miscalculated and Bernell had achieved this final life goal, outliving O.D. by 10 months and 10 days. Go Dad!
Bernell is preceded in death by his parents, E. A and Elsa Hunsaker McIntire; sister, Ethlyn Baugh and her husband Clair; children Dan McIntire, Jan McIntire, Troy Valentine and his wife Arlene, and Kristy Valentine, first wife of Cole; and grandchildren Rhett McIntire, Scottie Edwards, and Gabriel Valentine.
Bernell is survived by his brothers, LaVell (Joan) McIntire, Kent (Carole) McIntire, and sister, Carla (Charlie) Morell; and children Floyd (Melody) Baxter, Juli (Mitch) Smaellie, Cole (Denise) Valentine, Serena Wright, Logan (Patricia) Valentine, Jill (Gary) Edwards, Michael (Janet) McIntire, Lisa (John) Demetreon, Keith (Shelley) Mortensen, Fred (Rauna) Mortensen, Kelly (Dwaine) Lara, Summer (Tim) Watson, Delight (Brian) Clark, Cindy (Ken) Stain, and Robin (David) Valentine. From this blended family of 18 children, Bernell and Lora have been blessed with 76 grandchildren and 135 great-grandchildren.
Bernell taught his children through example the importance of goal setting, hard work, and most of all, the importance of family. He lived a life of faith that brought him happiness professionally, with his family, and in his service to God.
A viewing and service honoring Bernell’s life will be held May 8, 2020. Due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, in-person participation is unfortunately limited. However, the viewing and service will be streamed via YouTube-Live and all are welcome to attend. Use this link to join: https:\youtu.be/tG8DPLEsOh4. The viewing will be held from 6:30 pm to 7:20 pm, with the service following immediately from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Those wishing to participate in person should send an email to EBMcIntire.Service@gmail.com for further information.