Bernard was born on December 29, 1929 on the Petracek homestead where his parents, Albert and Barbara were living with his father's parents. A few years later, he moved a short distance north across the road into the new home set up by his parents. Here he was joined by a brother, Albert Jr., brother Dennis and sister Elizabeth. He lived there until he got married in 1990.
He attended Karlsruhe School where he completed grade 9 after which he stayed home to help his father on the farm. In the early 1950's, him and his brother Albert (Bert) started to build a small herd of purebred Shorthorn cattle along with their father. They eventually took over their father's cattle and expanded the livestock end of farming until his brother had to quit for health reasons. In 1961, Bernard purchased a half section of land and started grain farming. His brother Bert purchased the adjoining half section, and they farmed this land together and eventually took over the family farm. They started growing registered seed and established a seed farm under the name Petracek Bros. They expanded the seed farm business and included cleaning seed for other farmers. This continued until 1984 when his brother Bert passed away on April 20, 1984. His nephew Blake Petracek came to work on the farm for his mother Anne. Knolldale Seed Farm was formed, and Bernard and Blake continued the seed business until Blake moved into his own home and began to work at the mine. The farm was rented to Alan Petracek until he purchased it in 2018.
Bernard took a welding course in Winnipeg in the 1950's where he learned how to weld. As a result, with his brother helping, they built several pieces of farming equipment. They even built a snow blower but with the Rural Municipality plowing roads in 1962, it was only in use for a short while during the 1961 winter. He was a very fussy welder and always produced good welds.
He was always interested in farming and what was going on at the farm. Even after retiring from the actual farm work, he had to be at the farm all the time. Even after the farm was sold, he continued to come to the farm until he was unable to do so. The garden had to be planted in straight rows and had to be weeded just so. He was there to cut the grass and did so until he was no longer able. He loved the farm until the end.
Bernard joined the Knights of Columbus on March 17, 1963 with the council in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. He was a Charter member of the Langenburg Council and then became a Charter member of the the Gerald Council. He was active in the council, attending meetings until recently. Even when he was unable to attend meetings, he was always asking what they were doing. He was proud to be a Knight and took his membership seriously.
Bernie attended many singles dances and one night caught the eye of Phyllis Nystedt. In their brief dating period, they would meet at dances in Yorkton. Phyllis would stay the night at her son Robert’s house. He and Gail would stay up awaiting her return. Bernie would deliver Phyllis back and his vehicle would be idling for hours before Rob would tell his mother to let the poor man go home before his truck ran out of gas. They were married on November 10, 1990 and moved to Langenburg.
They bowled and travelled and gardened together until chronic disease plagued Phyllis, leaving her relatively house bound. Bernie was very patient, taking orders from grocery shopping to being notified of what needed done around the house and yard. Bernie continued to go daily to his farm near Gerald even after his retirement from farming.
After Phyllis’ passing, he continued to make the occasional trip north to visit his acquired family members until his health prevented him from doing so. One of the most memorable trips was in harvest and he was able to climb up into an 8120 Case IH. What a big smile he had on his face! Technology had come a long way from his pull type.
When Bernie and Phyllis married, he instantly became a Grandpa and Poppop, and stepped into this role very finely. Stacy said he may have hidden the book “Hop on Pop”, as she made him read it over and over as she would snuggle into his lap. Theresa showed Ryder the “digging park” (the furthest park from his house in Langenburg), this park was then the park of choice thereafter. Bernie looked at Theresa and said, “who showed him that park anyway!”. Gail remembers visiting Bernie’s farm when Ty was about two. It appeared like Bernie was explaining the intricacies of the tractor to him.
Bernard was predeceased by his wife Phyllis, son Douglas Nystedt, niece Coralee (McDonald) Petracek, his parents Albert and Barbara Petracek and his brother Albert (Bert) Petracek.
Bernard is survived by a brother Dennis Petracek, sister Elizabeth Prince, and sister-in-law Anne Petracek; sons Robert (Gail) Nystedt, Kenneth (Dana) Nystedt; daughters Theresa (Ken) Abrahamson, Kathie Nystedt; his grandchildren Kody (Brianne Simpson) Abrahamson, Ty Nystedt, Stacy Abrahamson, Haley Nystedt, Megan Nystedt, Ryder Nystedt; nephews and nieces; Kathy Painter, Christopher Prince, Blake Petracek, Randy (Trish) Petracek, Coralee (Chris) Schoenrock.
To send flowers to Bernie's family, please visit our floral store.
St. Wenceslaus Roman Catholic Cemetery Fund, Gerald
P.O. Box 68, Gerald SK S0A 1B0
Cancer Foundation of Saskatchewan
200-4545 Parliament Avenue, Regina SK S4W 0G3