Bernard Jaramillo

June 18, 1948-July 6

Bernie was born into a houseful of music, laughter, hard work and eventually eight sisters. Pueblo, Colo., in 1948 was predominately a steel mill town and his father, Ben, produced steel by day and toured as a musician by night.

By the age of 15, Bernie was already an accomplished drummer and began traveling the state with his dad’s band playing gigs and earning money to buy, what would become a life-long passion, cool cars. The best music gig in Pueblo was at a place called the Anchor Lounge, a massive multi dance floor night spot that could pack 600 people in on the weekends. By 1967, Bernie’s band became the Anchor Lounge house band and along with that honor, all the trappings of rock star status. It is then, he met a young groupie named Margaret who starstruck friends dragged onto the dance floor. Bernie noticed Marie and in between sets, introduced himself to her friends — Margaret and Bernie would be together for the next 53 years.

In 1968, the Anchor Lounge house band literally went off to war when, in the same week, three of the members received draft notices to Vietnam. In the same week as the draft notice arrived, Margie announced she also had some news, Kimberly would be joining the world in one of the most interesting years in history,1968.

Bernie never made it to Vietnam, instead, he tested off the charts for electrical-mechanical ability and was sent to nuclear school right after boot camp and then to Germany. Baby Kimberly, Margie and Bernie reunited in Germany on an Army base where they would live for the next two years before he completed his time in the Army to return to Colorado in 1970.

His professional career began and remained at MaBell where he worked until retirement at the young age of 50. He ran the communication lines to Breckenridge when it was not yet even a ski town. He was commended by then vice president Bush when we ran secret service communications to Norad in Cheyenne Mountain during a presidential visit. Bernie, never one to sit too long, earned a bachelor’s degree at night while managing a huge part of the state by day.

After decades at the phone company and now age 50, he thought he was done with work schedules and snow. So, Margie and Bernie moved seven cars and a household to Arizona. His dear friendships in Arizona remain strong to this day and their love and dedication cannot be overstated.

In 2011, the Colorado mountains were once again calling him home and he moved a growing collection of 11 cars and a household to Pagosa Springs. His deeply generous and gentle soul fit well into Pagosa and again he was the man to call for all things. If you had a particular vexing car issue, call Bernie. An impossible electrical house issue, call Bernie. A roofing issue? Bernie even had a commercial bucket truck — and they would call. Bernie’s time in Colorado will be cherished forever. His beloved Denver Broncos finally captured another Superbowl, he became a fanatical Chicago Cubs fan, a mountain biker, hiked by snowshoe, and even learned to ice skate and swim at age 68. The ice skating was fun, but what he really wanted to do was fulfill a lifelong dream of swimming in the ocean. After months of Colorado pool swimming lessons, he tackled the ocean swim in June of 2017 when he leaped from the boat and performed a perfect crawl stroke all the way to the beach. You could not wipe the smile off his face, and he would talk about his ocean swim for the rest of his days. He was a man with a plan and not much stopped him. His dignity, his kindness, his humor and his music will play on forever. We’ll miss him dearly, but he’ll live on in smiles and laughter forever. 

We Love You Dad. Kimberly and Michael Rega and Margaret Jaramillo

This story was posted on July 30, 2020.