Bernard Lynam

Bernard Andrew Lynam, known to all as “Bernie,” died after suffering a sudden heart attack at his home in Depoe Bay, Ore., on April 6, 2022. He was 78.

Left in Bernie’s vibrant wake were scores of saddened family members and friends who will forever recall his decency, probing intellect, wry humor and readiness to help neighbors with their household emergencies. Above all, and to all who knew him well, he was a beloved friend.

Born April 30, 1943, in New York, N.Y., Bernie was puckishly bright, once startling his parents by taking apart and rebuilding the family clock just to see how it worked. It was hardly surprising that he was among the seminal generation of computer “techies,” leaving college for a fast-track job with IBM that sent him to the far corners of the globe.

His character was revealed by tragedy, however, when his first wife died, and he began the difficult balancing act between a dazzling career and raising two daughters as a single father. Whenever he was on the road, he made himself reassuringly available to his girls, but he finally drew the line at the disruptive relocations, embracing fatherhood and leaving Big Blue.

It was a serendipitous move. Recruited by a high-tech manufacturer in the Philadelphia area, he met his future wife, Barbara Leff, a few desks away at his new office. The couple remained in love and devoted to each other for the next 33 years. Bernie’s career path eventually led them to Portland, Ore., and finally to retirement in Depoe Bay in 2000, where the longtime dream of running a small-town hardware store took shape as “Bernie’s Hardware.” While retail success eluded Bernie, he emerged after three years resilient as ever with a shop full of projects. His artistry in all things mechanical secured his reputation as the city’s “fix-it guru,” responding day or night to solve emergencies. The town recognized his indefatigable loyalty to the community by naming him Man of the Year in 2009.

Meanwhile, Bernie’s broad shoulders supported Barb throughout her meteoric and stressful political career as city councilor, mayor and fire board member. “He was my rock,” she stated.

Bernie is survived by wife Barbara and two daughters, Michele, a financial administrator at Oregon State University, and Joanne, who recently married and lives in Tracy, Calif. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

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