Bernhard Kroeger passed away March 9, 2014, after living six years with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
A memorial will be from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 3, 2014, at The Stonehouse (the corner of Sacramento and Broad streets in Nevada City, Calif.).
Bernhard was born Sept. 21, 1950, in Berlin, Germany. He came to the U.S. in 1965 and settled in Southern California. He was adopted by the Mueck family — Bill, Mariann, Terry, Jill and Randy — after high school. He served in the Navy in his early 20s. He married Karen Williams in 1977. Son, Orion, was born in 1978 and daughter, Erika, was born in 1980. The Kroegers moved to Grass Valley a month after Erika’s birth.
Barney and Karen and the kids became integral members of the community through work, school and sports activities — bicycling, hiking, kayaking and birding.
Through friends and the Internet, he was able to reconnect with his German sister, Dorthee Mayer, in 1995.
Barney was diagnosed with ALS in 2008. He took that as a cue to do more of the things he loved while he was able. He traveled in the U.S., Europe and Central America with his family and friends. As his disease progressed, he adapted to his physical decline. As an example, Orion installed a motor on his bike to extend the time he could continue riding. When he could no longer hold the binoculars steady, he focused on recording bird songs. Finally, he enjoyed the birds at numerous home feeders.
Barney was a man of wide-ranging curiosity, keen intellect, strong opinions and mordant wit. Because of this (or in spite of it), he made and kept many friends who continued to visit and converse until the last day of his life.
Karen, Orion and Erika are grateful to the many people who helped keep his spirits up, as well as helping him to cope with the realities of ALS. Grandchildren Julian and Camila were instrumental in brightening his life.