Cover photo for Walter Edward  Bermeo's Obituary
Walter Edward  Bermeo Profile Photo
1946 Walter 2023

Walter Edward Bermeo

December 14, 1946 — October 6, 2023

Following an intense battle with ALS, God granted Walter a peaceful rest on Friday, October 6, 2023, undisturbed until Jesus awakens him on resurrection morning. He was strengthened by the words “The best is yet to come” and the beautiful Bible promise found in John 11:25 and 26: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”


Walter was born December 14, 1946, in the city of fruit and flowers, Ambato, Ecuador, South America. He later became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He is survived by his beloved wife of forty-five years, LuAnn Bermeo, and their six children: sons Walter “Teddy” Bermeo and Dr. William “Monte” Bermeo, and daughters Kristina Rice, Dr. Leilani Bermeo, Sonya Biskupski, and Ivanna-Marie Bermeo. He often spoke of his love for his family, who were his pride and joy. He is also survived by his three precious grandchildren, Vincent, Cedric, and Rosalee, his brother Dr. Franklin Bermeo, and sister Sara Snider. Walter was preceded in death by his parents, Carlos and Sara Bermeo, and his brother, Dr. Carlos Bermeo.


Walter was a man with a thirst for learning and improvement in his personal and professional life. His goal, whether in school, at work, or at home, was to always do his best as unto the Lord. He earned an undergraduate degree in theology from Colegio Adventista del Plata in Argentina and three degrees from Andrews University, a BS in Nursing, an MA in Religion, and an MDiv (graduating Summa cum Laude) from Andrews Seminary. Throughout his life he could often be found studying with a book, journal, or computer before him. As he read, he searched for gems of inspiration and motivation, which he collected, memorized, and shared. He was always quick to uplift others with his cheerful, positive words, quick wit, warm smile, and infectious laugh.


During his time spent at Andrews University, Walter met LuAnn Row, who would become the love of his life, at the University Bookstore where they both worked. They married in Pioneer Memorial Church, followed by a beautiful garden reception on July 16, 1978 and later enjoyed raising their six children together.


Walter lived a life of sacrifice and service to others, putting their care, comfort, and needs above his own. He served as a vascular access nurse and nurse educator for close to 40 years, first at South Bend Memorial Hospital and then at the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor. He worked there until ALS forced him to go on disability in 2022. In earlier years, he was pastor and Bible instructor for the Ecuador Union Mission and later at Sandia View Academy in Corrales, New Mexico. He inspired countless students, patients, and co-workers with his optimistic spirit and excellence. His service did not end when he got off work. Walter helped care for LuAnn's parents, John and Effie Row, for many years, enabling them to stay at home. He also spent hours visiting and taking care of friends in need.


Above all, Walter had a love for God and his family, demonstrated in every aspect of his life. He had a firm early morning appointment with God for Bible study in the original Greek and prayer, dedicating each day to praying in particular for one of his children. He often spoke of God's grace and the hope of eternal life. In his final days, he kept a handwritten copy of Ephesians 2:8 at his side: "For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." An advocate of healthful living, he exercised six days a week, whether he wanted to or not. Spending time with his family was Walter’s greatest joy. He was always up for a rousing game of soccer, tennis, or table tennis, and, as recently as October of last year, played soccer with his grandchildren.


When he could no longer be active or even hold a book, he spent his waking hours watching and listening to sermons and sacred music. He was a member of Pioneer Memorial SDA Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He also regularly watched Loma Linda University and Village SDA Church’s services.


Walter lived his life by these principles: excellence, positivity, gratitude, and readiness for the Lord’s return. Even in the face of ALS, he inspired all who met him with his faithfulness and determination. His maxim: “Never, never EVER give up”! How appropriate are Paul’s words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for the me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord will award to me on that day and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).


Walter often told his family with tears in his voice, “I will see you in the morning.” They consider it a blessing to have cared for him during these past months at home, where he wanted to be, returning just a fraction of the love and care he provided. As long as he could still communicate, he would tell those who visited, “God is good. I am blessed. I am grateful. I am ready.” Not once did he complain. Instead, he often gave words of thanks and expressions of love which, in his last weeks, were “spoken” with blinks. How wonderful it will be to once more hear his gentle voice and beautiful Spanish accent.


Hold fast to the memories of Walter’s loving spirit, his dedication to service, and his unwavering faith. Take comfort in knowing that he is now resting, out of suffering, awaiting the glorious morning when the Lord will return. A special remembrance service is planned for November 18 at 4 pm in the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan. This will be a time to remember Walter not with sorrow, but with gratitude for the blessing of his presence in our lives, to be inspired by his testimony, and to celebrate the hope of a glad reunion with him soon.


Memorial gifts may be made to the Susan Mast ALS Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing excellent support to ALS patients, families, and caregivers in Western Michigan, or to the Pioneer Memorial Church Renovate 2.0 fund, which supports access in the church for disabled or elderly attendees.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Walter Edward Bermeo, please visit our flower store.

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