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Bernard P. Brilla
October 3, 1943 ~ January 26, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Bernard P. Brilla, 80, of Orwigsburg, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his residence on Friday, January 26, 2024. Bernard “Bernie” was born in Forestville, PA on October 3, 1943, to the late Bertha (Minder) and Anthony Brilla, Sr., and was the loving husband of Phyllis M. (Moore) Brilla since their wedding day, June 10, 1967.
He graduated from Cass Township High School in 1961 and served honorably in the United States Air Force from 1961-1965 stationed at K.I Sawyer Air Force Base, MI. Upon military separation, Bernie began his professional career with Bell Atlantic of PA where he started at an entry level position and worked his way up to Technician Supervisor, Manager, and then corporate level Director of Technology at Verizon wireless and even provided his technical expertise in Russia and Italy.
Bernie directed the conversion from analog to digital phone systems in Northeast and Central PA at Bell Atlantic. During his tenure at Verizon Wireless, he orchestrated the capability to receive voicemail notifications from a LAN line to a cellular phone and subsequently awarded a US patent for his intellectual contributions to wireless telecommunications.
Bernie was a multi-faceted talent; and everyone that knew Bernie raved about his distinct musical gifts and his humility. Bernie was a versatile musician; he was a self-taught accordionist and pianist since the age of seven, and later played the piano in the Polka band The King Brothers and was recorded on their albums. He also played with the country band Whisky River and classic rock band Gamut.
More than anything in this world, Bernie loved spending time with his family. Bernie’s favorite moments in life were spent having family get-togethers, traveling to over sixty-five countries with his wife, Phyllis, and watching the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies with his two sons, Mark, and Matt.
To Mark and Matt, Bernie’s greatest accomplishment was being their lifelong hero, someone who gave the best advice, and who always provided his unwavering love and support throughout their lives. Bernie will be greatly missed by his entire family.
In addition, to his wife, Phyllis, Bernie is survived by his two sons, Mark A. Brilla and his companion, Rachael Thomas of Hummelstown, PA; Matthew P. Brilla and his wife Erika of Lake Wynonah, PA; a niece, Sharon Smith of Mar Lin; a nephew, Steven Brilla of Pottsville.
He is also survived by his granddaughter, Evey Rae Brilla, and his four grandsons Devan Stortz, Chase, Bryce, and Stone Brilla, and many cousins with whom he remained very close.
He was preceded in death by his parents Bertha (Minder) and Anthony Brilla, Sr., brother, Anthony Brilla, Jr. and an infant grandson, Maxim Anthony Brilla.
A Religious Service will be held at 11:00 on Friday, February 2nd at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Orwigsburg, with Reverend Jeff Johnson officiating. Visitation will begin at 9:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s UCC, 236 East Market St. Orwigsburg, PA 17961. Interment will be private at the convenience of the Family. Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc. is honored to be serving the family.