Bernard John Lensmeyer, 77, of Columbia, Missouri passed away on Monday, September 9th.
A Celebration of Life for Bernie will be held at 10:15am on Friday, September 13th at the CBO at the Elks Lodge at 4747 E. Elk Park Drive in Columbia. Fellowship and lunch will follow the service. A private burial will be held at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville.
Bernie was born on April 24, 1936 in Sheboygan, WI to Bernard and Mildred Lensmeyer. He married Patricia Sadler Corbin in 1981 who survives at their home.
Bernie grew up in Casper, Wyoming. He served in the United States Army Special Services and was stationed in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from Casper College and the University of Denver, Bernie worked in the food service industry at Shakey’s Pizza, ARA and Catering Management. In 1975 he served as Senior Vice President/Partner for American Food Management where he was responsible for 12 states. The company grew from five employees based in Marshall, MO to a 26 state, 163-account college food service operation. He also served as Vice President for AmeriServe Food Management and owned several restaurants including Bennies Spirits and Such and Auburns in Columbia and Phil E Busters in Jefferson City. He lived and worked in many states including Wyoming, Illinois, Colorado, Massachusetts and has considered Missouri his home since 1975. He had a passion for food and always knew the best local places to eat in every city.
Bernie believed that you should leave the world better than you found it. Through the years he served in leadership roles on several Boards including the National Restaurant Association, Missouri Restaurant Association (State Board and President of the Columbia Chapter), Advisory Committee for the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at the University of Missouri, Advisory Committee to Food Service Training Program at Hickman High School and the Columbia Area Career Center, Food Vendor Committee for the Wake Up to Missouri U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship, City of Columbia Health Committee, Oswegoland Jaycees, Central Missouri Food Bank, Voluntary Action Center, CBO and B.P.O.E. Club #1353.
Bernie was a kind and generous person who was always looking for ways to connect people from different worlds. He enjoyed helping people and finding ways to make their lives better. He loved cars and owned/restored several which he enjoyed driving in local parades. He supported countless local and statewide officials by campaigning, organizing fundraisers, talking about candidates and encouraging people to vote. His smile and laugh were contagious.
He is survived by children, Mark (Tricia) Lensmeyer of Frisco, TX, Clay (Nancy) Corbin of Bloomsburg, PA, Kristin (Glenn) Leshner of Columbia, MO and Rockne (Luann) Corbin of Columbia, MO. He is also survived by eight grandchildren John, James and Andrew Lensmeyer, Charlie and Janie Corbin and Hannah, John and Jacob Corbin as well as several “adopted” children whose lives he influenced greatly.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Columbia Benevolent Organization (CBO) at 4747 E. Elk Park Drive, Columbia, MO 65201.