Lafayette attorney and Monroe native John Bernhardt died Friday morning at M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston after a lengthy and recurring battle with cancer. He was 60 years old.
John will be missed by friends from all over the world. His love of golf ran deeper than the mere sport of it. Throughout his life, he travelled the globe, studying golf course design and architecture, building lasting friendships along the way. Posts on his Caring Bridge page in recent months made reference to rounds he played with comrades on the best links anywhere, from Scotland’s fabled St. Andrews to Augusta National and Pebble Beach.
John would have loved a Mardi Gras week like this one. Atypically, this year the annual spectacle in Washington, D.C., fell within 10 days of Fat Tuesday. In healthier times, he would have rolled effortlessly from his role in The Krewe of Mystic Louisianians on the Potomac to his roll down St. Charles as a veteran member of Bacchus. The flambeau will be shining brightly this Sunday night in his memory for all who knew him.
There was no bigger LSU fan than John. In fact, many of his Caring Bridge friends from around the world called him Tiger. But the greatest love of his life was his daughter Katie, who has been his devoted nurse, confidante and advisor though out his illness. She has shown amazing strength and poise every step of the way.
John loved a glass of good red wine and a fine meal. A member of the AcA board, he also loved great art and music. A lifelong Democrat, he was a political insider who revered those who play the game well.
His good friend Tyron Picard remembers him this way: “John Bernhardt had four interests in life: 1, LSU athletics, 2, the game of golf, 3, Louisiana politics, and 4, the oil business, but only one love: his daughter Katie, whom he was a wonderful dad to. His infectious smile, jovial laugh and compassionate heart will be missed and leave a void in the life of all who knew him.”
In his most recent emails and text messages, John wrote of the next challenge and new treatment options, even as his doctors made clear the possibility of success was waning. He fought this battle just as lived his life — with courage, dignity and a sense of humor. He will be missed.
[Although arrangements have not been finalized, IND Monthly can tell you that Martin & Castille is handling the arrangements. A service for John will be held in Lafayette after Mardi Gras. He will be laid to rest next to his parents in Monroe.]