Dr. Antonio F. Bernas, 72, of Rock Island, died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends on Thursday, May 30, 2019, after a long battle with Multiple Myeloma.
Tony was born on August 23, 1946, in Capiz, Philippines to Pio F. and Illuminada F. Bernas. Tony graduated with honors from the University of Santo Thomas Medical School in Manila, Philippines in 1970. He later completed an internship at U.S. Naval Hospital Subic Bay where he was awarded Intern of the Year. He was also a general surgery resident at the Clark Air Base, Philippines where he treated wounded American soldiers who served in Vietnam in 1970-1971.
On June 13, 1971, he married the love of his life, Cecilia M. Simpao, in Manila, Philippines. Ten days later they immigrated to the US. They first moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he started his residency at St. Michael's Hospital and went on to finish his general surgery residency at St. Luke's Hospital in 1976. He also completed a Burn Surgery sub specialty rotation at St. Mary’s Hospital. Tony and Cecilia then moved to Rock Island where they planted their roots with their five children. He had a successful 41-year practice in the Quad Cities, specializing in general surgery and burn trauma at Franciscan Hospital in Rock Island as well as Illini Hospital, Lutheran and Moline Public Hospital, now Unity Point Trinity Hospital. Tony performed the first Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy in the QC with Dr. Michael Durr and was awarded Physician of the Year Award by the Rock Island County Auxiliary.
Tony was involved in various professional and social organizations: St. Pius X Catholic Church,Rock Island; Co-founder, Philippine American Association of the Quad Cities; 3rd Degree Member, Knights of Columbus; Trinity Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Clinic; Rock Island County Medical Society; Board member, Quad City HMO Deere Organization; Clinical instructor, University of Illinois; Medical School-Peoria Illinois for Burn Rotation; Clinical instructor, Osteopathic Medical School, Des Moines University; Former President, Franciscan Hospital medical staff; Board member, Franciscan Medical board; and Chief of Staff during merger of Trinity Hospital and United Hospital.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Cecilia Bernas, Rock Island; children, Arthur Bernas, Rock Island; Patricia (Matt) Kohl, Lisbon, IA; Jorge (Leolita) Bernas, Aledo; Roger (Margaret) Bernas, North Glenn, CO; and Michael (Diana) Bernas, Raleigh, NC; grandchildren, Anastasia, Micah, Xavior, Maya, Elena, Max, Matthias, Brendan and Emiliano; great-grandchildren, Johnny and Michael; and siblings, Jose (Esther) Bernas, Philippines; Rev. Eugenio Bernas, Philippines; Florecita Bernas, Chicago; Ricardo (Lorna) Bernas, Sylmar, CA; Ethel Bondoc, Philippines; Marico (Franz) Engel, Germany; Minda (Ruel) Baylosis, San Leandro, CA; and Dale (Grace) Bernas, Philippines.
Vigil services begin with the rosary prayer at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory in Rock Island at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, followed by visitation from 3-7 p.m. The funeral mass will be held at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Rock Island at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 6, 2019. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Rock Island. Flowers and memorials can be sent to Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory. Memorials will be donated to several of Dr. Bernas' favorite charities.
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