Bernie Louis Conger
With heavy hearts, we announce the death of Bernie Louis Conger, known to all as "Duke," who passed away in Cedar Rapids, on Nov. 29, 2020, at the age of 78. A celebration of Bernie's vibrant life will be held at a later date, when it is safe to do so. There will also be a private ceremony next year to return him to the sacred land of the Menominee Nation.
Survivors include his beloved wife, Ruth; his children, Steve (Toni) Conger of Pacheco, Calif., Mary (Gordon) Kaltenbach of Cedar Rapids, Patty (Wayne) McKinstry of Walford, Chris (Jack) Hooten of Marion, Sandy (Les) Kane of Cedar Rapids, Jeff (Brandi) Davis of Cedar Rapids and David (Anita) Bark of Virginia; grandchildren, Tara, Brittany, Kaeli, Ashlee, Adam, Micah, Olivia, Kira, Kristina, Nic, Bryton and six bonus grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; siblings, Opal Dill, Yvonne Veronda, Marsha Young, Larry Conger, Audrey Conger, Judy (Tony) Martinez; brother-in-law, Bob (Wendy) Bucklin; and a host of wonderful relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Theodore Sr. and Julia (Wishcoby) Conger; his wife of 40 years, Mary K. Conger; his sons, Timothy Conger and Brian Hobart; and siblings, Ruby Reiter, Rose Falk, Eva Block, Theodore Conger, Lily Rigatuso, George Conger, Colby Conger and Charles Conger.
Bernie was born on March 23, 1942, in the Menominee Nation Indian Tribe (Keshena, Wis.). He graduated from South High School in Omaha, Neb., where he found a passion for boxing, later coaching, and a lifelong affinity for Orsi's Bakery. He worked at Cryovac in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, until retirement.
All who knew Bernie knew that spending time with him was sure to be a good time, especially singing karaoke and on the dance floor and stage partying with the local classic rock bands. He had a tremendous love for music, golfing, traveling and spending time with family and friends. Being a devoted Green Bay Packer Backer was about more than just being a fan, it was life to him. He showed his kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and our friends that he was our number one fan, no matter what we were doing. Bernie welcomed so many people into his home and our family. His memorable humor, smile, laugh and hugs will all be greatly missed.
Memorial contributions may be sent in care of Murdock Funeral Home at 520 Wilson Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.
The family would like to give special thanks to the doctors, nurses, and other staff at Mercy Hospital and the Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy who are working tirelessly to fight the effects of this devastating pandemic.