Harold Corato Bernacchi, 92, passed away peacefully at his home in La Porte, IN on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
Harold was born in La Porte, IN on June 10, 1925 to Angelo and Enis (Marganti) Bernacchi. He was the fifth son of seven for Angelo and Enis.
At an early age, Harold learned the truck farming business from his father Angelo and his uncle Victor. Farming would remain his passion for the rest of his life. At the age of 15, Harold began boxing in a league at the La Porte Civic Auditorium. He was a skilled boxer who never lost a fight and won two golden gloves. During WWII in May of 1944, Harold was still in La Porte High School when he volunteered to protect and serve our country in the US Navy. He was a helmsman on an amphibious landing craft and survived landings on the beaches of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Harold was a decorated US Navy Seaman and received a letter of accommodation from the White House signed by President Harry S. Truman. During his active duty, Harold continued his boxing skills in military exhibitions representing the USN. He fought boxers from the Army, Navy and Marines. He won the title of “Welterweight Champion of the Pacific Fleet” - the highest honor given in military competitive boxing. His combined boxing career record stands at 48 wins with 0 defeats. Harold received an Honorable Discharge on May, 12, 1946.
On October 26, 1946 at St. Peter’s Church in La Porte, IN, Harold married Donna Jean Hanna who preceded him in death. Harold’s working career was at Angelo Bernacchi Greenhouse in La Porte where he was an owner and grower for over 50 years. He retired at the age of 72 and focused on his favorite pastime, sport fishing.
Surviving are his sons, Michael (Cheryl) Bernacchi of La Porte, IN, Kenneth Bernacchi of Aiken, SC, Jon Bernacchi of Union Mills, IN, and Tony Bernacchi of Kingsbury, IN; daughter, Donna Jean Bernacchi (Barry) Heiser of Bonita Springs, FL; 9 grandchildren, Andrew (Katie) Bernacchi, Samantha King, Alexis (Octavio) Gallardo, Cory Bernacchi, Karina (Dane) Sauer, Stephanie (Josh) White, Melissa (Tony) Capinegro and Amanda Bernacchi; 8 great-grandchildren, Maxon, Myah, Hannah, Chloe, Gavin, Reese, Hank and Calvin.
Harold was preceded in death by his brothers, Victor, Joseph and Adolph Bernacchi and granddaughter, Savhanna Bernacchi.
Cremation has taken place with Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, La Porte. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 12 PM on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center. A time of visitation will be held from 11 AM on Sunday until the time of the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to Dunes Hospice, 4711 Evans Avenue, Valparaiso, IN 46383.
Condolences may be shared online at www.cutlerfuneralhome.com.