Bernard “Barney” Otto John Schenk, 88, of Thomasville died Nov. 29, 2013 at the Grove Hill Memorial Hospital.
He was born July 31, 1925 in Chicago, Ill., but his family moved to Elberta, Ala. when he was a child. He graduated from Foley High School and joined the United States 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. Hew as 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 United States 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 checkpoint equipment for ICBM Titan II missiles. Upon retirement, Barney and Dot, his wife, 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.
Survivor include two sons Joe (Jacque) Schenk, Corpus Christi, Texas, Jim (Susan) Schenk, Birmingham; one sister, Evelyn Schenk Durant, sister-in-laws, Hazel Plummer, Betty Barfield, Cissy Crim, brother-in-laws, M.C. Plummer, Doug Barfield, Dewey Crim; four grandchildren, Brian Schenk, Stuart Schenk, John (Whitney) Schenk, Abby (J.D.) Gray; two great-grandchildren, Dottie, Gray and John David Gray Jr. as well as numerous cousins, nephews and nieces. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend.
He was preceded in death by only four weeks, his wife, Dorothy “Dot” Plummer Schenk, who died Nov. 1, 2013; his parents, John H. and Clara Zemke Schenk, one brother, John Schenk and brother-in-law, Grover Durant.
The service was Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville with military honors at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo at 1 p.m. with both services by Dr. James Best of Thomasville Baptist Church, assisted in Montevallo by Associate Pastor Chris Sullivan of the Hunter Street Baptist Church of Birmingham.
Active pallbearers were Robert Plummer, Mark Crim, Tommy Cox, Grover Durant Jr., Stan Etheridge, and Clint Anderson.
Memorials may be made in his memory to: VFW Post 5106 at 222 Hurricane Lane, Grove Hill, AL 36451 or to your favorite charity.
Condolences may be offered at www.obryantchapelfh.com.
O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home of Thomasville directed.