Bernard “Barney” Otto John Schenk of Thomasville died Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 at Grove Hill Hospital after a brief illness.
Schenk was born in Chicago, Ill. on July 31, 1925, but his family moved to Elberta when he was a child. He graduated from Foley High School and joined the U. S. Army Air Force during World War II. He was an excellent marksman and was trained as a nose gunner on a B-24 bomber crew. He was in New York City prepared for deployment when the war ended and consequently served in the Army Occupation Forces in Italy, Germany and Austria. He was discharged in 1946, and returned to Baldwin County where he farmed with his father, and later worked in land surveying in Mobile in 1949. He reenlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served until retiring in 1974. He worked with B-49 bombers and finished his career as a Master Sergeant, specializing in electronics for launch and checkout equipment for ICBM Titan II missiles. Upon retirement, Barney and Dot moved to Thomasville to be closer to Dot’s family. He had studied TV repair prior to retirement and worked at several locations including Barfield Furniture Company, Estes TV Repair, and Mott’s TV Repair until completely retiring.
He was an avid fisherman, liked working on his computer, and took up golf at the age of 70 enjoying it for the rest of his life. Due to his 27 year career in the Air Force, he and Dot had many friends across the country and enjoyed traveling to visit them as well as entertaining them in their home. Barney and Dot always welcomed family and friends with delicious food, and games of all kinds were played. He thoroughly enjoyed any kind of game, especially cards and dominoes, and was always a serious competitor.
He is survived by two sons and their wives, Joe (Jacque) Schenk of Corpus Christi, Texas and Jim (Susan) Schenk of Birmingham; four grandchildren, Brian, Stuart, John (Whitney) and Abby (J. D.) Gray, two great-grandchildren, Dottie Gray and John David Gray, Jr.; sister, Evelyn Schenk Durant; sister in-laws, Hazel Plummer, Betty Barfield and Cissy Crim; brother-in-laws, M. C. Plummer, Doug Barfield and Dewey Crim; as well as numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy “Dot” Plummer Schenk who passed away only four weeks prior on Nov. 1. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, greatgrandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend. He was also preceded in death by his parents, John H. and Clara Zemke Schenk, brother, John Schenk, brother-in-law, Grover Durant.
Funeral services were Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville with Dr. James Best of Thomasville Baptist Church officiating. Interment with military honors followed at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo with Dr. James Best and Associate Pastor Chris Sullivan of Hunter Street Baptist Church in Birmingham officiating with O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville directing.
Active pallbearers were Robert Plummer, Mark Crim, Tommy Cox, Grover Durant, Jr., Stan Etheridge and Clint Anderson.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his memory to: VFW Post 5106, at 222 Hurricane Lane, Grove Hill, AL 36451 or your favorite charity.
Condolences may be offered at www.obryantchapelfh.com.