Bernhard Martin Oesen, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on Saturday, June 20, 2020. He was 80.
Bernhard was born on Jan. 11, 1940, in Braunau, Austria, to Martin and Hermine Oesen. He was educated in Salzburg at Klessheim Culinary Institute. He worked in several European countries before his arrival in America. He arrived in New Jersey in 1968 as a ski instructor at Great Gorge ski resort in Vernon, N.J. There he met Carol, and on June 8, 1970, they were married.
They raised four children Michael Ehrlich, Peter, Meghan, and Gretchen.
In 1980 Bernhard and Carol purchased a tavern they named Bernhard’s Red Mill. They owned and operated their family restaurant in Sussex, N.J., for 24 years.
Bernhard was an avid skier. He continued to teach skiing and working at Vernon Valley, now called Mountain Creek ski resort as a greeter. His love of the sport started in Austria and brought him to the states where he shared it with so many.
He was a member of the U.S. Chef’s Ski Team and in 1984 qualified to represent the U.S. in international competition in Cortina Italy. Of course wherever he skied his family would follow.
Bernhard was a farmer, gardener, and hunter. He raised pigs, cows, horses, chickens, and bees. He was a member of the Sussex County Beekeepers Association. A highlight for him was his participation with the beekeepers at the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show every August.
His stories were endless, and he was always eager to tell his tales, from surviving being buried in an avalanche in the Austrian alps to playing soccer with the actual Beatles on the beach in Wales. If you had a few hours to listen, he would share his adventures.
Bernhard enjoyed soccer, skiing, bicycling, and tennis and so much, but above all he loved people. He enjoyed entertaining with good food, abundant drink, and of course Austrian music. A man who loved to make people laugh and smile, he will be remembered for his generosity. He organized an annual venison dinner to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
He is survived by his wife, Carol; children, Gabi Reusser, Michael Ehrlich (Susan), Peter Oesen (Stefanie), Meghan Miller (Todd), and Gretchen Stefankiewicz (Aaron); brothers, Peter Oesen, Tony Promeger, Roman Promeger, and Raimund Oesen; and grandchildren, Sam and Mia Ehrlich, Nicolas and Noah Reusser, Madeline and Max Miller, Natalie, Elise, Luke, and Sophie Stefankewicz, Penelope and Ruby Oesen.
Bernhard was preceded in death by his father, Martin, and his mother, Hermine.
Visitation was scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Ferguson Funeral Home, 27 Third St., Sussex, N.J. Due to executive orders, only 50 people with facial masks worn at all times will be permitted in the building. A Mass of Christian Burial at St. Monica’s Roman Catholice Church in Sussex will be private. Burial in the Clove Cemetery will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.