OBITUARY: Cocoa High Class of 1969 Grad Bernie Leroy Stafford Jr., 67, Passed Away Nov. 11
By Space Coast Daily // November 20, 2018
RETIRED FROM ALLSTATE IN 2013, INFECTIOUS, DISTINGUISHABLE LAUGH KNOWN TO EVERYONE
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – Bernie Leroy Stafford Jr., 67, of Cocoa, passed away suddenly on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Born January 5, 1951, in Norfolk, Virginia, Bernie was a graduate of Cocoa High School class of 1969.
Bernie’s passing was unexpected and has been a shock to his friends and family.
He enjoyed his time having fun with many of the friends that attended school with him and Bernie could find humor in many of life’s situations.
Friends will tell you that having a bad day around Bernie was not an option. His frequent and infectious laugh that quickly identified Bernie’s presence cheered everyone up in any situation.
Bernie retired from the Allstate insurance claims department in 2013. Prior to working for Allstate, he was a partner at Brown Brothers on Clearlake Road in Cocoa, and for 15 years, made a daily appearance at Bob Steele Chevrolet.
Bernie made many friends in and out of the industry who forever knew him as, “the paint and body guy.”
For many others that knew Bernie, their friendships date back 60 years to elementary school. The group didn’t lose touch, grew up together and shared much of life with each other, which only deepens the loss.
Bernie enjoyed camping and dancing with these close friends. He was quick to help others and lend a hand where needed. Bernie was a regular at the Cocoa Elks Lodge 1532, where he was a loyal member.
He is survived by his son, Brian; and his life-long companion, Sharon Van Hove-Bishop and her son, Grant. Bernie was preceded in death by his father, Bernie Sr.; his mother, Helen; sister, Delores; and his nephew, Archie. Nieces Tracey and Allison will also miss Bernie very much.
A celebration of life was held November 18 at Cocoa Elks Lodge 1532, where many of Bernie’s family and friends shared their memories and love of him.
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