Obituary: Bernd Werny


Bernd Werny

June 26, 1939 – February 11, 2024


Bernd Werny of Birch Bay, WA died February 11, 2024 at the age of 84. He was born June 26, 1939 in Klein-Auheim, Germany. He was the middle child of Hermann Werny and Bertl (Weis) Werny.

Bernd grew up during the Second World War, where as a boy, he lived through the Allied bombing campaigns. After the war he delivered “Stars and Stripes” to American families and remembered receiving gifts of gum and candy from forces stationed in Germany. His father Hermann died in 1946. In 1953 he left Europe with his mother, older brother Frank, and younger sister Isa, on the S.S. Groote Beer and arrived in New York, after which the family traveled by Greyhound bus across the country to Washington State. He lived with his family in Tacoma and after a few years was joined by his grandmother Sophie Weiss. He later graduated from Clover Park High School.

Bernd was honored when he became a naturalized citizen of the United States and was proud of his service to the nation as a member of the United States Coast Guard. He married Elizabeth Musselwhite in 1964 and they had two children; Baine and Betrice (Buffy). Bernd was a successful entrepreneur and business leader with a long career. He served as general manager and oversaw restaurant operations at Tacoma’s Winthrop Hotel and for many years he worked in Bremerton managing properties owned by Mr. Bremmer. He and his family then moved to Silverado, California where he owned his own restaurant. After returning to Washington, he owned and operated O’Farrell’s Family Restaurant in Puyallup. He also operated Werny’s Restaurant on South Hill and then expanded Werny’s to three additional locations in Tacoma and Puyallup.

He was active in the communities where he lived. While in California he served as a volunteer firefighter and was a member of Kiwanis International in Puyallup for over 20 years.

In 1993, he married Melinda DeWing and the two had thirty wonderful years together. After moving to Bellingham, he transitioned to a career in real estate with multiple companies, including the Muljat Group, which he really enjoyed. He liked traveling and the outdoors and had a special love for animals, particularly his dog, Mackenzie. A special place for him was on his sailboat traversing the San Juan Islands, Canadian Waters, or different parts of the Puget Sound. He was deeply committed to his family and was a devoted husband and father.

In addition to his father, Hermann, he was preceded in death by his mother, Bertl Werny. He is survived by his loving wife Melinda; his brother Frank (Dorothy) Werny of Plymouth, MA; sister Isa Werny of Seattle; children Baine Werny, of Bellingham; Betrice (Michael) Nagle of Ludington, MI; and stepsons Todd (Angela) Grubb of Mukilteo, WA; Nathan (Conny) Grubb of Lakewood, WA. He is also survived by his grandchildren, including Beck and Maren Werny; Maggie and Elizabeth Nagle; Maxwell, Samuel, and Kyle Grubb; great-grandchildren Liam, Ella, and Lily; and numerous nieces and nephews. Bernd was a wonderful man in every way and we were blessed to have had him in our lives. We will love him always and miss him forever.

The family will host a private ceremony at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the Bellingham Humane Society or the charity of your choice in Bernd’s name.