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Bernard D. Shinal

March 1, 2020


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Bernard D. Shinal

March 1, 2020


Bernard Daniel Shinal, 88, of Bear Creek Township, who lived his first 60 years in his hometown of Wilkes-Barre Township, passed away peacefully at the Smith Health Care facility in Mountain Top, on Sunday, March 1, 2020.


Bernie was born in Wilkes-Barre Township, the third of six children to John and Ann Bobyak Shinal. He was a grandson of an immigrant coal miner from Slovakia. He married Dorothy Palkiewicz in 1951, the daughter of a Polish immigrant coal miner.


Bernie was a graduate of Wilkes-Barre Township High School, class of 1949. From 1973 to 1991, he ran the HVAC unit as a member of the maintenance department for the former Mercy Hospital in Wilkes-Barre. He was a union shop steward for Local Chapter 1199. During the 1960’s, Bernie was the eastern Pennsylvania sales representative for the Brother Sewing Machine Company and later the Morris Sewing Machine Company. He won several national sales contests by selling to buyers wherever he found them, including Amish and other farmers for whom he would replace the new machine’s motor with an old-fashioned foot pedal, out of respect for their religious beliefs.


Bernie, as friends and family called him, had several long-term, successful and varied careers, most recently as the caretaker for the Georgetown Settlement Camp, a position he held for 20 years.


Bernie was a lifelong fan of the outdoors and sports, especially baseball. He managed and played on area softball teams which won several league championships in the 1970’s . Bernie was a head little league coach for many years at the former St. Joseph’s Youth League in Wilkes-Barre Township and he was a member of the Georgetown Friar’s Club.


In his later years, when not working or selling items among friends at the Blakeslee Corners Flea Market, Bernie spent most of his time and energy on his family, including his children and many grandchildren, with whom he corresponded frequently.


Bernie was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, the former Dorothy C. Palkiewicz Shinal in 1992; son, Cdr. Bernard V. Shinal (Ret. USN); daughter-in-law, Mollie Shinal (nee Romanowski); brothers, John S. and Gerald Shinal.


Surviving are his children, Eugene Shinal, Wilkes-Barre Township; Mary Jo Wood and her husband, Dr. Gary Wood, Loudonville, NY; Susan Chandler and her husband, Mark, Cary, IL; John G. Shinal and his wife, Arayeh, San Francisco, CA; daughter-in-law, Kathy Shinal, Fairfax, VA; 12 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; sisters, Eleanor Kluchinski and Mary Ann Ewasko, both of Wilkes-Barre Township; brother, Richard Shinal and his wife, Jean, Jenkins Township; Sister-in-law, Antoinette Shinal, Pittston; nieces and nephews.  He also left behind his cat, Charlie.


Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 9, 2020, at 9 AM from the Nat & Gawlas Funeral Home, 89 Park Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 9:30 AM in Our Lady of Hope Parish, 40 Park Avenue, Wilkes-Barre. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township.


Friends may call on Sunday from 3 – 6 pm at the funeral home.


Memorial donations may be made in Bernie’s memory to the SPCA of Luzerne County, 524 E. Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.


Online condolences may be sent by visiting Bernie’s obituary at www.natandgawlas.com.