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Bernie Edward Tharp, Jr., 86, of Olathe, KS, peacefully passed away on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at home surrounded by his family after a difficult battle with congestive heart failure.

Bernie was born on September 27, 1934 to Bernie and Ethel (Swearingen) Tharp in Milan, MO.

After Bernie graduated from Milan High School in May of 1953 he married his high school sweetheart of 4 years, Shirley Weter, in October of the same year. They moved to a farm in Milan, MO but because it was a drought year the farming venture was not as successful as they had hoped. Before selling the cows and moving to Kansas City, MO Bernie gave his life to Christ in the First Baptist Church in Milan. In 1957 they moved to Lenexa, KS where they lived for 50 years raising their 3 children. 41 of those years Bernie worked for Delco Battery, a division of General Motors where he retired in 1997. He was a member of the UAW.

Bernie’s life was driven by his love for his family. Whether coaching or watching, he was always supportive of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and the activities they enjoyed. He loved to work and even after retirement always had a job including crossing guard in Lenexa and janitor and member at New Life Community Church. Bernie also loved to feed people. Their home was always a gathering place and no one ever went away hungry.

Bernie was preceded in death by his parents, Bernie and Ethel Tharp; brother, Earl and sisters: Lorene, Noma Jean and Ramah.

He is survived by his wife Shirley of the home; his son Dennis (Stella) of Ottawa, KS; two daughters, Lina Reynolds (Richard) of Hendersonville, TN, and Trudy George (Rick) of Olathe, KS; 8 grandchildren: Jason Tharp (Sarah), Joshua Reynolds (Femke), Jeremiah Reynolds, Rae Ann Babbitt (Ryan), Kalie George, Caleb George (Sarah), Jordan Reynolds (Taylor) and Kelsie George; 9 great grandchildren: Bailey Babbitt, Aubrey Tharp, Addison Tharp, Ellie George, Olivia George, Isaac George, Rhodes Reynolds, Ender Reynolds, and Banning Reynolds.

Visitation will be held 6:00 to 8:00 pm Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at New Life Community Church, 17935 S. Moonlight, Gardner, KS. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 am Thursday, June 24, 2021 also at New Life Community Church. Burial follows at Johnson County Memorial Gardens, 11200 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Urban Christian Academy at or to New Life Community Church at newlifegardner. com. Arrangements: Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner, KS (913) 856-7111. Condolences may be left at www.