Bernie Backer, 70, Fargo, passed away Monday, October 17 at Sheyenne Crossings Care Center, West Fargo after a courageous 4.5 year battle with Lung Cancer.

Bernie was born March 14, 1941, to Elmer and Leona (Paczkowski) Backer in Courtenay, North Dakota. Bernie attended school in Courtenay, graduating in 1959. Bernie enlisted in the Army on Nov 8, 1960. He was stationed at Fort Ord in California. He was honorably discharged on August 8, 1962.

After his discharge, Bernie moved back to North Dakota where he worked various Construction Jobs. He met and married Teresa Mehlhoff on June 11, 1966 in Courtenay, North Dakota. He joined T.F. Powers Construction Company, Fargo in 1968. While at T.F. Powers, Bernie worked as a Carpenter and later as a Construction Superintendent. This position took him to large jobs in several states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska and Minnesota. He retired in December of 2004. He came out of retirement for a short while to build The Lodge on Lake Detroit, Detroit Lakes, with Richard Burns & Associates, Fargo.

While in the service, Bernie worked as a cook, a passion he carried with him throughout his life. Bernie's true passion was working with wood as a master craftsman. He precisely replicated furniture from just a picture. He loved the outdoors, nature and gardening. He was proud to show his manicured lawn and garden to his friends and family.

Bernie is survived by his wife of 45 years, Teresa, Fargo ND, children, Kristi (Chris) Backer-Palmer, Minneapolis, MN, Steffi (Dusty) Neiman, Durango, CO, two cherished granddaughters, Adde Jo and Ryne, brothers, Ben (Sharla) Backer, Castle Rock, CO, Kenny Backer, Courtenay, ND, Dale (Sue) Backer, Courtenay, ND, Eldie (Deb) Backer, Jamestown, ND, sisters, Diane (Roger) Hoggarth, Bismarck, ND and Glenda Backer, St. Paul, MN.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Bev Velure.

Bernie's family would like to thank Dr. Preston Steen and the staff of the Roger Maris Cancer Center, Bernie's Hospice Team and staff at Sheyenne Crossings Care Center, West Fargo for the wonderful care he received. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Roger Maris Cancer Center and/or Hospice of the Red River Valley.

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  1. Pelican Rapids MN
    Teresa, Kristi and Steffi,
    You were in out thoughts and prayers over the weekend. Wish we could have been there for you…

  2. Woodworth North Dakota
    Our hearts and prayer are with all the family of Bernie, who is now in a better place. His memory will live on through all his family. Barry/Cheryl

  3. Mapleton ND
    I’d like to read you a good story for a time like this….Oh, wait! There’s a really good one in John 3:16. Thanks so much for letting me share in some of your delightful first-grade classrooms. I extend sincere condolences for your loss.

  4. Shreveport, LATeresa, Kristi, & Steffi,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families during this difficult time. Sending love and hugs across the miles.

    Tina, Oscar and Julienne Betancourt

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