Bernard William “Bernie” Motichka
CLEARWATER, FLA. — On the morning of April 19, 2016, Bernie Motichka passed away peacefully in Clearwater, Fla., after a brief illness. He was 84 years old.
Bernie was born in Swoyersville, Pa., on Dec. 21, 1931, the son of Emily Zavatski Motichka and Anthony Motichka. He graduated from Tunkhannock High School in 1948 where he was on the baseball team as a catcher. He enlisted in the Navy in 1950, ser ved during the Korean War as a fueler on The USS Valley Forge, and was honorably discharged in 1954. He attended Loch Haven State Teachers College and was on the college swim team.
In 1959, he married Mildred “Millie” Madar. Upon his graduation in 1960, he worked at Sudlersville High School teaching math and gym. He returned to college, earning a Master’s Degree in Education in 1965 from Scranton University. He became a guidance counselor at the newly built Queen Anne’s County High School in Centreville, Md., which his daughters all attended. He remained at Queen Anne’s until his retirement in 1991.
In 1986, Millie passed away. Bernie married Dolores “Dee” Dadds Bryant in 1991, and together they traveled extensively, both in the U.S. and abroad. Bernie visited every state in the U.S. On these travels, he would often open the phone book in a town he was visiting and call anyone whose last name was Motichka to see if they were related. He met many family members this way and remained friends with them. Dee passed away in 2011.
Bernie was born to a farming family and always kept a garden. He had his first job at age 14 when he leased a plot of land from a farmer to grow tomatoes. During his time at Queen Anne’s, he was on the chain gang of the football team, and only missed one game in 30 years, for his daughter’s wedding. He was elected into the QACHS Hall of Fame for his chain gang service. He was best known for his sense of humor and love of stories. Bernie had a remarkable memory. Even in recent years, he could recount anecdotes about students he had in the 1960s, their vocations, college choices and spouses.
He is survived by his daughters, Lynn Galitzin and her husband Michel and sons Alex and Andrew, of Baltimore, Md., Karen Motichka of Salisbury, Md., Eve Motichka and her husband Harry Lloyd and daughters Jenna and Jordan Lloyd of Delmar, Md., and Janis Motichka and her husband Jon Draper and sons William and Connor Draper of Joppa, Md. An infant son, John Anthony, predeceased them.
He is also survived by his sisters, Emily Christina of Endicott, N.Y., and Doris Montross and husband Harold of Centremoreland, Pa. He is predeceased by his brothers Adam and Edward, and his sister Eleanor.
He is also survived by three step-daughters: Cindy Dixon, Billie Sue Dixon and Valerie Dixon, all of Virginia, and 22 grand and greatgrandchildren, as well as a sister-in-law Patsy Mock, and brothers-in-law Bernard Dadds, Donald Dadds and Clayton Dadds, all of Centreville, Md.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held Saturday, April 30, 11 a.m. at Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church in Centreville, Md., with visitation at the church from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. He will be interred in St Peter’s cemetery, alongside Millie and Dee.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the QACHS Alumni Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 512, Centreville, MD 21617.
Online condolences can be made at www.hardestyfuneralhome.com.