Max and Minnie Bernharts, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Max and Minnie Bernharts


The Max and Minnie Bernharts came to Valparaiso in the early 1900s. Five of their six children were born in Valparaiso. Harry, the oldest, died in California in 1971. He moved there from Chicago and was in the real estate business. Mollie Spivak, the only daughter, resides in the San Fernando, Calif. Area with her daughter, husband and family. Earl, a retired advertising executive resides in Dallas, Texas.

Rollie Bernhart, the fourth child of the Max Bernharts married Dorothy Retskoff of Chicago where they resided thirteen years after marriage. Rollie served two years in World War II, and on his return, sold his liquor business in Chicago and moved back to Valpo where he resumed his newspaper work which had started when he was 18 and was employed by the Herald-Examiner.

He worked for the Vidette-Messenger for 23 years as a reporter, chief photographer, political editor, and columnist He is in Who's Who, received meritorius awards from the Jaycees of which he was the only honorary member, the United Fund, from Valparaiso University, Porter Memorial Hospital Administrator and Board for 20 years of dedicated service through publicity, and an award from the American Legion Charles Pratt Post for work done as Service Officer, and was appointed to the Volunteer Army Advisory Council in 1974.

He was a close friend and adviser of some politicians and congressmen and attended the reception in Washington, D.C. when Birch Bayh took his senatorial seat as well as attending Chas. Halleck retirement banquet in Lafayette.

He and wife Dorothy were instrumental along with Juanita Borg, teacher at Northview, John Beach, and Bud Brownell in instigating a tag day, a dance and fund raising for the first basketball scoreboard and football boards at the old high school -- now Ben Franklin Jr. High. Dorothy was one of the four originators of the Community Theatre Guild, along with Verle Arden, Donna Shankland and Gladys Gray, then Jr. High President of P.T.A. at the time, which is the present Central School. She was active in Jr. Relief Corps. Taking young people sightseeing to Chicago and to cultural places, member of the Mothers' Victory Club, Auxiliary Am. Legion, Charter Member of Valpo and Midwest Toastmistress Clubs, twelve years as a hospital guild volunteer, 35 years in Red Cross in Valpo and Chapter Chairman in Chicago, Bus. And Prof. Women's Club treas., and after her husband's death took over as correspondent for the South Bend Tribune and the Indianapolis Star and News newspapers, a substitute teacher and is a Field Enterprise Ed. Corp. representative.

Daughters of the Rollie Bernharts are Mrs. Marcia (John W.) Gold, and Ellen Bernhart of Valparaiso. Marcia is the mother of three children, Andy, 9, Amy 8, and Roni Beth 2. Ellen, is a world traveler, to the Far East, and Middle East where she was employed at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. At Wesley in Chicago she was a head nurse in obstetrics and currently is employed at the Merrillville Broadway Methodist Hospital. Marcia was twice a Speech Contest winner locally, on a Council level as well as Toastmistress Regional level.

The younger brother of Rollie Bernhart, Irvin and wife Laura (Bartz) reside in Jackson, Mch. And are both in real estate; they have five children, Janet is a personnel mgr. in a dept. store in Jackson; has one son. Carol, has two boys and is Mrs. Mike Barnard and is in Battle Creek; James and wife Linda, both Valpo Univ. graduates are in Ft. Wayne, Jim being an engineer at Magnavox, Charles is a doctor at Sinai Hospital in Detroit; Phil is completing Ann Arbor Univ. and expects to go into dentistry.

The youngest brother Milton of the Max Bernhart family is in Burbank, Calif. And is a trombonist and plays backdrop music for movies, TV specials and owns the Kelly Travel Agency in Beverly Hills, Calif. He has two sons and a daughter.

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 82

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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