Maurice Richard Peter "Pete" Berard 76, of Lake Park who was known for his smile, died Thursday, June 23, 2016 at the Langdale Hospice House after a valiant battle to overcome a stroke. He was born in Waterville, Maine on September 3, 1939 to the late Maurice Levi and Ellen Esther Rita Anketell Berard. Pete came to Valdosta by way of Moody Air Force Base, where he met and married the love of his life, Julie "Kitten" in 1963 and has been a resident of Lowndes County for fifty seven years. He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and was strong in his faith. He was the owner of Pete's Otto Shop in Valdosta. Mr. Berard was a veteran of the United States Air Force and a Proud American. He was a founding member of the Valdosta Yacht Club and the Muddobbers Motorcycle Club. Mr. Berard was active in the Radio Controlled Airplane group, the Porsche Club of American and the Crosley Group Owners. He adored his grandchildren and was a master woodcraftsman. Mr. Berard enjoyed cars, boats and cooking. Pete made an amazing number of friends with a lively and generous spirit and a great deal of humor. With Ben Olliff he founded Imported Auto Center then Pete's Otto Shop (Otto being German for auto) in 1980 on Lee Street. A family business which is now operated by his son, Maurice "Tiger" Berard. People with old and new vintage foreign cars as well as every modern foreign car ever made brought them to Pete's Otto from as far away as Atlanta and Jacksonville, sometimes those same vintage cars had been passed from father to son. Just as he knew cars, he also knew the owners making many of them friends for life. His interests also included vintage and modern motorcycles. In his younger days he enjoyed competing in cross-country motorcycle events. His knowledge of "all things that go" was encyclopedic; knowledge he passed on to his son who was raised at Pete's Otto.
Survivors include his wife, Julia Cheek Berard of Lake Park; son and daughter in law, Richard "Tiger" and Glenda Berard of Lake Park; daughter and son in law, Teresa and "Fearless" Fred Wetherington of Hahira; eight grandchildren, Bobby Berard Wetherington, Brogen Ty Berard, Lexie Leigh Wetherington, Peter Marshall Wetherington, Luke Roland, Alexis Roland, Lee Roland, MacKenzie Roland; sister and brother in law, Sara and Bob Bard of Waterville, Maine and numerous cousins. The family wishes to express their appreciation to the staff of Langdale Hospice House for their love and care for Mr. Berard during his illness. Friends are welcome to visit at the home of Pete and Julie.
Memorial mass will be held at 1pm, Monday, June 27, 2016 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church with Deacon Columbus Carter officiating. Burial will follow in the McLane Riverview Memorial Gardens. Memorials in memory of Mr. Berard may be made to the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 800 Gornto Road, Valdosta, GA 31602. Condolences to the family may be conveyed online at www.mclanecares.com. Carson McLane Funeral Home.
Carson McLane Funeral Home
2215 North Patterson Street