- Bernal K. 'Bernie' 'Von Zipper' Cleland, 86, passed away April 25, 2017, at his home. Bernie was born April 17, 1931, in Red Bluff, CA, the son of the late Walter M. Cleland.
Bernie served in the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft mechanic. Following his service in the Air Force, he worked for Crown Zellerbach paper mill as an Instrument Technician for 30 years. In 1961, Bernie met the love of his life, the former Nina Bryant of Bangor. They married in Reno, NV, in 1966. Bernie and Nina moved back to Maine in 1993, settling in Holden in 1996. Bernie and Nina loved to travel together, enjoying hunting and fishing along the way. Bernie and Nina were not only husband and wife, but they were truly best friends.
"Uncle Bernie" is survived by his loving wife, Nina; a daughter, Vicki Brose of Arizona; a grandson, Brian Brose of Arizona; two great-grandsons; and multiple generations of nieces and nephews.
Special love and thanks to Candy and Ola Persson, John W. Bryant, Kathy and Ron Kennison, Dawn Marie Krog, Kim and Bobby Bryant, Dee Dee Love, Lloyd Bryant, Freddie Bryant, and Leya Bryant and friend Charlie. The family would also like to extend special thanks to Dr. Barbara Vereault and the staff of Hospice of EMMC.
Services will be private for the family. Those who wish to remember Bernie in a special way may make gifts in his memory to The Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675, or to Hospice of Eastern Maine, 885 Union Street, Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at Brookings-Smith.com.
Bernie's kindness and keen sense of humor will be greatly missed; his spirit will live on in the hearts of those who loved him.
Published on  April 29, 2017