Bernard Motl

Bernard Motl, 90, River Falls, died Monday, June 17, in Kinnic Health and Rehab.

He was born Oct. 23, 1928 to Vincent Wilhelm and Mary (Wencl) Motl, on a farm in River Falls Township. Bernard attended Forestville grade school, graduated from River Falls High School in 1946 and then attended UW-River Falls. He married Marilyn Miller on May 7, 1949, in Clayfield, Wis.

In early 1949 he enrolled in vocational bricklayers school. During his bricklayer apprenticeship, Bernard joined the United States Air Force. He served during the Korean Conflict from 1951 to 1955 at the Amarillo (Texas) Air Force Base. He was a staff sergeant who instructed pilots and mechanics in Jet Aircraft and Mechanics.

Bernard was very proud of his military service. He received many awards including Airman of the Month (squadron) and Airman of the Month (group).

Following service, Bernard and Marilyn returned to River Falls with their daughter, Suanne, who was born in Texas. A few months after daughter Nancy was born, the family moved to the home where Bernard lived for 62 years.

He laid millions of bricks in a 42–year career. Bernard excelled at brick and stone work and was an artist with fireplaces. He was asked to be the lay out man for many different projects. Local projects he worked on include several at UW-River Falls including Fine Arts Building, Kargas Center, Rodli Commons and May Hall. He also worked on St. Bridget’s Church and did the brick columns at Greenwood Cemetery. Big projects in Minnesota included the Governor’s Mansion, Whitney Hotel, intricate stonework at House of Hope in St. Paul and Galtier Towers which included laying bricks while lying on a scaffold 42 stories up.

Bernard was conferred life membership in the International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworks. He held a number of union offices, including president of the Red Wing (MN) local, and served on a number of committees.

Beyond bricklaying, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and supporting the Green Bay Packers. He was an active member of St. Bridget’s Church and the American Legion.

Bernard was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, wife Marilyn and son-in-law Kenneth Pieper.

He is survived by daughters Suanne Pieper of Le Roy, IL, and Nancy Hinkel of Lancaster, CA; grandsons Danny (Brandy) Hinkel, Travis Hinkel, Karl Pieper and Ted (Holly) Pieper; and great- grandchildren Lilah and Felix Pieper and Bella Hinkel.

Celebration of Life was held at St. Bridget’s Church. He was interred at Greenwood Cemetery with full military honors.