Bernard Jerome McGovern
Bernard (“Bernie”) was born in Providence, RI, the son of Edward F. and Georgianna (Nugent) McGovern. He was a graduate of LaSalle Academy and Providence College, receiving his B.A in Mathematics in 1951. He served in the US Army during the later years of WWII. His life, as Bernie said, was “fantastic,” made so by his marriage for almost 70 years to the love of his life, Gladys, whom he married during his senior year of college. He was fascinated by complex mathematic equations, and enjoyed traveling and learning about different food and cultures, biking and weight lifting (both well into his 80s), and hiking, especially on the Appalachian Trail, in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Mt. Fuji. He fully and warmly appreciated a good German beer, Jamaican rum, vanilla ice cream, popcorn, any and all power tools, his knife collection, Disney movies and a good history book. In his spare time, he taught himself to speak German to better enjoy his trips to Germany, wrote and quoted poetry and would often burst into song when the mood struck him.
Bernie worked for a number of companies over the course of his career, including at one time on a United Aircraft/Pratt and Whitney team that explored the feasibility of nuclear powered aircraft. While with Combustion Engineering, he worked on a nuclear reactor design for the Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine. He moved from pure mathematics to computing, eventually retiring as a systems engineer. He published papers in the 1960s on the use of computing in health care and other fields. After retiring at 58, Bernie was incredibly active as a volunteer, contributing his time and energy to the West Goshen Lions Club where he coordinated dinners for Safe Harbor and served as Past President and Secretary, the West Chester Fish, Game and Wildlife Association, where he served as Secretary, and Good Works, Inc. among many, many others. He also was a past township auditor for Westtown Township, and a past Judge of Elections. Among his many awards was the Bing Miller Award for his service to the Lions Club.
His beloved Gladys, “Pooh,” passed away just days before he did. He is survived by his children: Maureen McGovern (Tony), Allison DiPietro (Mike), Jacqueline Steber (Ron), Edward McGovern (Cindy), Susan McGovern and Michael McGovern (Tonya); his much loved grandchildren Melissa Hemerly (Nate), Caitlin Simkovich (Ben), Noelle McSherry (Jim), Joseph Simkovich (Kelly), Anna and Laura DiPietro, Brian and Megan McGovern, Jeff Steber and Brigid, Margo and George McGovern; and his great-grandchildren Evan and Claire Hemerly. His only sister, Katherine McGovern McIntyre, predeceased him; his McIntyre nephews and niece held a special place in his heart. As did his wife’s numerous Moore and McDermott relations.
He was our North Star, teaching us how to navigate our ways in the world.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Safe Harbor, 20 N. Matlack Street, West Chester, PA 19380, or Good Works, Inc., P.O. Box 1441, Coatesville, PA 19320, or any charity of your choice.
Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. 610-696-1181, www.DellaFH.com
To plant a tree in memory of Bernard Jerome McGovern, please visit our tribute store.
Safe Harbor of Chester County
20 N. Matlack St., West Chester PA 19380
Good Works, Inc.
P.O. Box 1441, Coatesville PA 19320
Charity of your Choice