American Veteran 01
Official Obituary of

Bernard Stenlund

January 7, 1928 ~ February 26, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Bernard Stenlund Obituary

Bernard Stenlund (AKA Swede, Neesh and Harold), age 96, of Rapid River, MI passed away Monday, February 26, 2024 at Clement Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI.  He was born January 7, 1928 in Escanaba, MI and was one of six children of Herman and Mandy Stenlund.  He was raised in Rapid River, MI, where he grew up helping his father in his father’s auto mechanic shop and attending school.  He enjoyed fishing and hunting with family.

He served in the US Navy from 1945 to 1948 when he was honorably discharged.  While in the US Navy he served and trained in Illinois, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, New York and in the Panama Canal.  He served on the USS President Adams APA19 naval ship.  He was awarded The Victory Medal for his service.

In 1949 he was discharged from the Navy and came to West Allis, WI. with a navy buddy. He met Virginia Ann Pavletich and they married on October 22, 1949 in Waukegan, IL.  Together they started their own company, Aetna Moving and Storage, out of their home.  Bernard moved many people across the country and had many stories to tell.

Together they had six children of their own who were all born in Milwaukee and West Allis, WI.  

In 1977 they chose to sell the moving business and move, during a snowstorm, back to Rapid River, MI. Bernard was a lifelong member of Calvary Lutheran Church.  Bernard worked for Heynessens-Selins Furniture store as the warehouse manager.  During these years, Bernard enjoyed fishing on Little Bay de Noc, hunting in Ensign, telling many stories at hunting camp and spending time with family.  He once served on the Rapid River school board and often attended his grandchildren’s  sporting events around town.  

He is survived by all six of his children, Kathryn Carini and Sandra (Ken) Ceranski both of Muskego, WI, Nancy Birk of New Berlin, David Stenlund and Paul (Kristie) Stenlund both of Rapid River and Matthew (Jessie) Stenlund of Oak Creek, WI.  He is also survived by grandchildren Francesca Carini, Scott and Andrew (Amanda) Birk, Nathan, Jake, Savannah, Ryan (Olivia) and Austin Stenlund and great-grandchildren Taylor, Madelyn, Ahmyla, Anna, Kevin and Zoie.  

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 73 years, Virginia.  He is also preceded in death by his parents Herman and Mandy Stenlund, his siblings Lloyd, Ethel, Doris, Dorothy and Ralph, and by his son-in-law’s Albert Carini and Kevin Birk.

Dad would always say, Bye for now.

Visitation will be held from 10:00 am to 11:15 am, Friday March 8, 2024 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Rapid River.  American Legion service will be conducted at 11:15 Friday by the Rapid River American Legion Post #351 being assisted by the U.S. Navy funeral honors team.  Funeral services celebrating the life of Bernard Stenlund will be held at 11:30 am, Friday at the Calvary Lutheran Church with Reverend Terry Frankenstein officiating.  A luncheon will be served following the funeral services in the church fellowship hall.  Burial will be held in the spring of the year in the Rapid River Cemetery.  The Anderson Funeral Homes of Escanaba and Gladstone are assisting the Stenlund family and online condolences can be sent to

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March 8, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:15 AM
Calvary Lutheran Church (Rapid River)

American Legion Service
March 8, 2024

11:15 AM
Calvary Lutheran Church (Rapid River)

Funeral Service
March 8, 2024

11:30 AM
Calvary Lutheran Church (Rapid River)


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