Obituary for Joseph "Joe" Bierend
Joseph (“Joe”) Herman Bierend passed away at the age of 90 in Lancaster, California, on Monday, February 1, 2016.
Joe was born on March 26, 1925 in Santa Barbara, California. He most recently resided at the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans' Home of California, where he formed close friendships with fellow veteran residents. Joe was born in Santa Barbara and attended school in Southern California and Mexico City. When Pearl Harbor was attacked. Joe hitchhiked from Mexico City back to Santa Barbara to be with his family and enlist in the U.S. Army. Joe met the love of his life, Lorraine Bierend, while commuting on the Red Car Line in Los Angeles. They married and started a family.
Joe began his Army career as a Private in Camp Abbott, Oregon, near Crater Lake. He was a member of the Combat Engineers of the 43rd Infantry Division. Joe shipped out to the Pacific Theater in the combat zones of New Zealand, New Caledonia, New Hebrides and Bougainville. He bravely served on the Philippines’ Leyte Island during the second landing wave, in the midst of Kamikaze planes’ bombs and intense Japanese cannon fire. Joe then traveled to several other islands, performing occupational duties in Japan at the time peace was declared. Joe was promoted to Corporal, and re-enlisted upon his return to the United States. Joe attended OCS, became a Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, and then Executive Officer while stationed in Alaska.
With the advent of the Korean War, Joe submitted his papers to serve there. He was assigned to General Custer's old unit, the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Calvary Division, which returned to Japan. Joe submitted his discharge papers and enjoyed civilian life.
Upon completion of his military service, Joe and his business partner Mel Seck built a successful precision sheet metal business in the San Fernando Valley. MJB Sheet Metal, Inc. served the aerospace, manufacturing, and aftermarket auto industries for many years. Joe retired from his business at age 55. He and Lorraine enjoyed time together, traveling, and welcoming family and friends to their home.
Joe is preceded in death by his beloved wife Lorraine, at the age of 62. They were married for 42 years. Joe's oldest son, Richard, also passed away at the age of 60. Also preceding Joe in death were Joe's sister Gloria, granddaughter Brenda, father Herman, mother Mary, and stepmother Marie.
Surviving family members include Joe's son, Steven, daughter, Gayla, and son Gary, 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and numerous in-laws, nieces, and nephews. Prior to his final residency at the Veterans' Home of CA, Joe lived near his surviving brother and best friend, Robert, sister-in-law, Patty, and nephew Robbie.
Joe enjoyed fishing, cooking, reading, target shooting, current events and politics. He was beloved by everyone who knew him. He was a kind, generous, impeccable, brave, and conscientious son, father, and friend.
Interment will be on Monday, February 22, 2016, at the Santa Maria Cemetery District, 1501 S. College Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93454, where Joe will be laid to rest next to his wife Lorraine. Friendship memorial services are scheduled for Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans' Home, 45221 30th St. W., Lancaster, California, 93536.. Tax-deductible memorial donations may be made to the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans' Home at the address above, Attention: Rachel Wilson. Please add to the memo of the donation, “In Memory of Joe Bierend”.