TUCSON, Ariz. — Bernard D. Eppolite, 97, of Tucson, formerly of Bessemer, Mich ., died Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in Tucson. He was born May 30, 1916, in Bessemer, son of the late Arnold and Mary (Masnaghetti) Eppolite.
On March 14, 1938, he was united in marriage with Eileen Provencher at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Ironwood, Mich. They resided in Bessemer until 1973, and then moved to Tucson. For 40 years he lived in the same home in Tucson, in the Far Horizons Mobile Home Park. Eileen preceded him in death on June 4, 1991.
Bernard was a member of St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Bessemer, where he was also an usher. In Tucson, he was a member of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.
Bernard had been employed in iron mining for twenty years. He also worked for the Bessemer Creamery.
Bernard loved fishing, traveling, and gardening. He loved sports, but after all the major league strikes he quit watching professional sports and turned to college games. His favorite team was the University of Arizona. He was kind and always willing to help out his neighbors. Whether it was a trip to the doctors or to the grocery store, Bernie was there.
He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus.
He is survived by two daughters, Karen (Larry) Thomas of Colorado Springs, Colo ., and Denise (Bud) Korich of Leominster, Mass .; nine grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to his wife and parents, Bernard was preceded in death by a son, David; a daughter, Janice; and five brothers, Hugo, Charles, Vincent, Frankie and Louis.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, at 1 p.m. at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Bessemer. Father Ben Hasse will be the celebrant. Visitation will be held Tuesday evening from 5-7 p.m. at the Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home in Bessemer, with a prayer service at 5:30, and from noon until the time of the service at the church.
Burial will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Bessemer. Pallbearers will be David, Michael and Gary Thomas; Bruce Eppolite; Todd Korich; and Nicholas Thomas.
Arrangements are by Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home in Bessemer.