Bernard"Bernie"A. Kuhns, Sr., 76, of Missoula passed away peacefully Monday, December 12, 2022 at his home surrounded by loved ones.
Bernard Kuhns, son of Francis and Gladys (VanTassel) Kuhns, was born January 11, 1946 in Erie, Pennsylvania. He attended school in the Waterloo, Pennsylvania area, along with his sister Betty. In his younger years, Bernie met and married Judith Main with whom he had two children, Kari (Rob) Parker and Bill (Cindy) Kuhns. During this time he was working a construction job in Pennsylvania. After his first marriage dissolved he met Linda Hill, and had a third child that they affectionately named after his own namesake, Bernard A. Kuhns Jr. (Teresa) During this time in his life Bernie was driving semi trucks over the road, and got an opportunity to work for a logging company in Darby Montana, and he decided to move.Some time after, Bernie then moved to Missoula, MT and was unitedwith Carol Heyerly who lived with him for many years and shared his no-nonsense personality. This is when Bernie found his greatest life's work, as a tow truck operator for Fred's Towing. Bernie then stayed on when new owners purchased Fred's in 1990 and it became Red's Towing. With Red's Towing, Bernie found his second family and his love for his work. He left for a very short time in 2009 to try something new with Nash Enterprises, but towing was in his blood and he came back to Red's a year later and never left again.Bernie and Carol were together until her unfortunate medical condition made it so that she had to move home to her family in another state in 2020. Bernie then met his last and greatest love Georgia "Georgie" Kellmer. The two shared many fun times and dreams together and had big plans to travel until her unfortunate death in 2021, which crushed him.
Bernard was known for his strong work ethic and operated as a heavy wrecker operator for over 40 years.He will be remembered by all of the people he helped over the years towing people off snowy roads, doing truck wrecks on the highways and mountain recoveries, touching the lives of everyone along the way. He will be dearly missed by his "family" at Red's Towing. When he wasn't in a truck on or his Harley, he could always be found in the shop telling people the right way to do things. Bernie lived life to the absolute fullest and never with regrets, He didn't put weight on many material things and instead enjoyed the simple life, always loving what blessings he had. He always had a tough exterior, but inside was an extremely kind and giving man. . He tried to retire a couple of times, but never really stopped working. He was a talented bowler, member of the Missoula USBC and participated in countless leagues in the Missoula area along with his son and many many friends. Bernard favorite activity was riding his Harley, especially travelling to the many Sturgis' Rallies he attended throughout his years. Bernard was a devoted father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who will be greatly missed.
Bernard is survived by his children, William Kuhns(Cindy); Kari Parker(Bob); Bernie Kuhns Jr.; ten grandchildren, Taylor Kuhns,Destiny Kuhns, Cordell Kuhns, Jasmine Pyette (Devin), Logan Pederson, Alicia Brown(Powell), Jordan Kuhns, Kaydee Kuhns, Bobby Parker ,and Kelsy Parker; 6 great grandchildren; siblings; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Bernie never wanted to have a service upon death and wished that people would celebrate him instead. Therefore, the Celebration of Life for Bernie Kuhns will be January 15th, 2022 at 12:00 pm at Westside Lanes where he frequently bowled and had many lunches. There will be a tow truck parade through Missoula for him an hour before the celebration, starting at Red's Towing on Russell street. Condolences may be sent to the family or left on the website at Garden City Funeral Home.