Bernard “Bernie” Dean Navratil, 87, of Crete, was born February 16, 1935, on a farm west of Wilber, NE to Louis & Anna (Chmelir) Navratil. Bernie passed away September 16, 2022, in Lincoln, NE. He attended District 3 Saline County & Crete High School graduating in 1953. While he was still in high school, Bernie enlisted in the Nebraska Air National Guard, serving 34+ years, working as an airplane mechanic & then personnel management specialist, achieving the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.
Bernie met the love of his life, Mary Beth Cogswell of Friend, NE, in high school at a district band competition. The two reconnected at Pla Mor Ballroom in 1956 and were united in marriage on June 30, 1957 at the Congregational Church in Friend. To this union 2 children were born, Brenda Kay & Boyd L. Navratil.
When his health permitted, he took great pride in his yard & vehicles. He was also an avid Husker fan attending many games in person & cheering loudly at home. Bernie enjoyed loading up his motorhome with many friends & heading out-of-state for Husker football games. Another passion was following the Kansas City Royals & Chiefs & attending many of his grandchildren’s activities through their school years into college. He also enjoyed playing on 8-ball pool teams, cards & bowling. Following his retirement from the military, he spent many hours playing golf. He & Beth spent 20 years as Winter Texans enjoying many park activities. They also took many cruises, traveled much of the U.S. as well as Europe, Australia, New Zealand & Iceland.
Bernie was a life-time member of the United Church of Christ, 1st Congregational in Crete holding several positions within the church. He was also a permanent member of the Hallam American Legion Post #294 for 40+ years serving as Department Adjutant for the State Commander, Post Commander, Post Adjutant & many other committees receiving the American Legion District 12 Citizenship Award. Other organizations Bernie was involved with included: 40 & 8 Voiture Locale #103, Lions Club International & FOE Eagles.
Survivors include his wife, Mary “Beth” of 65 years, daughter Brenda (Rod) Frahm of Glenwood, IA, son Boyd (Sanda) Navratil of Lincoln, NE, grandchildren Alaia (Cameron) Holmes & Seth (Julia) Navratil, all of Lincoln, two great-grandchildren, Zoe Holmes & Colter Navratil, sister Ana Lou (Larry) Roth of Omaha, NE, sister-in-law Darlene Navratil of Lincoln, NE, brother-in-law Charles Cogswell of Friend, NE, and sister-in-law Becky Cogswell of Florence, KY. Bernie is proceeded in death by his parents, brother Marvin Navratil, brother & sister-in-law Dennis & Donna Navratil, parents-in-law Lester & Mary Cogswell, brother-in-law Donald Cogswell, sister-in-law Gwenda Cogswell, six nephews & other family members.
Visitation will be Thursday, September 22, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and one hour before services Friday at United Church of Christ, 1st Congregational, 440 East 12th Street, Crete. Funeral Services will be 9:30 a.m., Friday, September 23, 2022 at the church. Graveside Services with military honors will be 1:00 p.m. Friday at Omaha National Cemetery, 14250 Schram Road, Omaha. Memorials in care of Hallam American Legion Post #294 or United Church of Christ, 1st Congregational. Condolences may be left at trumpmemorials.com. Trump Funeral Services, 1600 West “O” Street, Lincoln.