Cover photo for Bernard A. Koenigs's Obituary
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1937 Bernard 2023

Bernard A. Koenigs

November 14, 1937 — August 12, 2023

North Mankato, MN


Bernard “Bernie” Anthony Koenigs, age 85 of Eagle Lake, passed away peacefully on August 12, 2023 at Birchwood Cottages, North Mankato.

Bernie was born November 14, 1937 in Osage, IA to Arnold and Regina (Bissen) Koenigs. Growing up on the small family farm in Meyer, IA, Bernie developed the obedience, unwavering faith, strong work ethic and self-discipline that served him well throughout life. Beside his farm chores, he spent time scouting, hunting, fishing, wrestling, and riding bareback on his horses, Dicky and Dolly. He was a proud Eagle Scout.

Upon graduation from high school in 1957, Bernie enlisted in the Army, serving during the heart of the cold war in Ankara, Turkey, just blocks from the Russian Embassy. Along with learning the language and bull-riding, he taught himself two of his most cherished talents: cutting hair and playing guitar. He also served as a Scoutmaster for local boys.

In 1962, Bernie graduated from St. Paul Barber College and began his 55 year career at Y Barbers in Mankato. He purchased the barbershop in 1972, sold the shop to his daughter, Ellen in 2014, and retired in 2017 but continued to work part-time. His steady hand, ready smile, and jovial nature endeared him to thousands of lifelong customers and passersby.

Bernie first met Judy (Jovaag) in 1964 at a church picnic. Her first impression of Bernie was not very flattering, but he won her over with his persistence. They were married on June 19, 1965 at SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Mankato, moved to Eagle Lake later that year, and quickly built a family. Their first son, Michael, was born in April of 1966, followed by Ellen in 1969, Richard in 1972, and Joel in 1974.

Bernie was consummately generous, giving his time, skills, and talent without reservation. One of the many ways he gave was through his music. Family, friends, church members, and nursing home residents in particular were treated to his renditions of classic favorites, forgotten folk tunes, Johnny Cash, and the occasional Mule Skinner Blues. His tenor voice also lent its weight to many church choirs. Having learned mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and carpentry on the farm, he was always willing to lend a hand to those in need. Bernie spent much of his leisure time fishing, gardening, woodworking, and wine-making, sharing the spoils at every opportunity.

Bernie is survived by his wife, Judith; children, Michael (Vivian), Ellen, Richard (Joleen), and Joel (Rose); grandchildren, Zakary, Jacob, Sydney, Gabriella, Kaelyn, Tyler, Russell, Simon, Sydney, Kyle, Jemma, Owen, and Brendan; and siblings, Mary Ann Klapperich, Aggie Theobald, Genie Detviler, and Geri Fischer.

Preceded in death by siblings, Bonita Streit, Marvin, and Gilbert; and parents, Arnold and Regina.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00am Friday, August 25, 2023 at All Saints Catholic Church, Madison Lake. Visitation will be 4:00-7:00pm, Thursday, August 24, 2023 at Northview-North Mankato Mortuary and 10:00am Friday at the church.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, August 24, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Northview - North Mankato Mortuary

2060 Commerce Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003

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Funeral Service

Friday, August 25, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

All Saints Catholic Church

605 4th St, Madison Lake, MN 56063

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