On May 6, 2023, Donald Bernard "Bernie" Larke passed away unexpectedly at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City, CA. Bernie was 66 years old.
Bernie was born in Redwood City, CA, to parents Donald and Marianne Larke - their first son. He grew up in a bustling but loving household that eventually grew to nine children. He married the love of his life Maribel, and with her raised a family of his own. He is survived by his wife of almost 39 years Maribel and their four children Michael, Amanda, Jessica, and Andrew as well as three grandchildren Ayla, Shane, and another grandson due later this year. He was predeceased by his father Donald Watson Larke and sister Michelle Anne Walker and is also survived by his mother Marianne Larke and siblings Gaye, Suzanne, Janine, Mary, Victoria, Daniel and Lisa.
Bernie started his career at the 'Bubblemachine' Carwash after high school, but eventually landed a job at Pacific Bell, the Telephone Company. Always ready for a challenge, Bernie was their first male switchboard operator! That first job led to a series of technical telephony positions with increasing degrees of complexity and stature that kept him in the telecommunications industry for nearly 50 years. While working in the industry (and helping raise his family), at night Bernie went to school to improve his knowledge and skills, receiving two Bachelors of Science from the University of Phoenix in 1999- one in Information Systems and one in Computer and Information Science (CIS), Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications. His final position was as a Senior Systems Analyst for the County of Alameda in California. Bernie always worked hard to support and provide for his family. His rise through the ranks of the telecommunications industry attests to that work ethic.
Bernie's passions were music and sports. He loved music from an early age and shared it with his family and friends for his entire life. He had a very eclectic musical palette that ranged from the 1950s to the present day. He was at home with both The Beatles and Frank Zappa! Bernie was an early supporter of the Tubes when they were just a local bay area band in the early 1970s. His taste ran the musical gamut including artists such as Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Petty, Journey, Metallica, Pink Floyd, The Killers, Billy Joel, Korn, Cake, Weezer and Muse. He shared this passion with his 'extended family' - going to concerts and sharing his music at parties. You can see Bernie's musical influence everywhere in the family from his children and siblings to his friends.
Bernie was an avid sports fan. When he wasn't actually physically in the stands at the game, he was always monitoring his favorite teams - the San Francisco Giants, the SF 49ers, the Golden State Warriors, the San Jose Sharks and the Earthquakes. He would watch almost any sport at any time - football, baseball, hockey, tiddlywinks championships, competitive underwater basket weaving... literally anything! He also liked playing sports. In his earlier years he played competitive softball with friends. He also enjoyed golfing, a passion passed down to him by his father. In more recent years he shared this passion with his brother-in-law Oscar and good friend Miguel, hitting the links every weekend.
Bernie had an infectious smile and a wicked sense of humor that could brighten up anyone's day. He has left a lasting impression on everyone, and we will all miss him dearly.
Please come celebrate his life with us. A viewing will be held on Thursday, May 25th at Crippen and Flynn on Woodside Road in Redwood City from 3-7PM with a vigil a at 5PM. A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, May 26th at 11AM at St. Pius Church in Redwood City followed by a funeral procession to Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma at 1PM. The family will be receiving loved ones afterwards at the family home in Redwood City.