Sad news has reached us of the passing of Dan Bernie, a Campolindo graduate and – until recently – Moraga’s Superintendent of Parks and Public Works.
Bernie, part of a sprawling and involved Lamorinda family, joined the Marine Corps after high school, returned to a job with Moraga’s parks and public works in 1979 and applied lessons learned in the military to his approach as superintendent when he was promoted to that position in 1982.
Friends and family called him “D.I.” for his practical, taciturn, military approach to problems encountered while leading a small squad of co-workers entrusted with caring for and tending to Moraga’s 440 acres of public space – known for his often creative methods for doing more with less.
He championed a program using minor offenders as part-time workers, putting them to work in local parks as an alternative to jail and restricting their efforts to the use of unpowered hand tools and other implements that “didn’t make noise.”
Committed to caring for natural lands without the use of toxic chemicals or power tools, Bernie pushed for a relationship with the “Future Explorers,” a local group caring for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and contracted with them to supply workers to do sweeping and light cleanup in Moraga parks.
He eventually retired after roughly 35 years of service to the Town – frequently seen patrolling “his” park lands in his trademark yellow safety vest.
Friends said he died of a brain tumor. Services have yet to be announced.