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Following a courageous two-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer, Luis Bernardez II passed peacefully at his home in Bozeman, Montana, at the age of 59, surrounded by his family.

Luis (Lucho) was born in Harlan, Kentucky, to Pat Cahill Bernardez and Luis Bernardez.

Growing up in Santa Fe with his sister, Pita, and brother, Juan, Luis attended St. Francis Elementary School and St. Michael’s High School. While at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology for his undergraduate work, Luis enjoyed his studies and met friends that remained an important part of his life. After college, as a student employee at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Luis earned his master’s degree in physics from UC Davis. Luis then worked at Sandia National Laboratory “the other lab” for the rest of his career. He also contributed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Not surprisingly, Luis made additional lifelong friends during this time.

Luis knew from an early age that he wanted to be a scientist, and thoroughly enjoyed his career as a physicist, earning patents for his inventions. Luis’s lust for life expanded when he met Kellie, 27 years ago, as Luis found a true partner and gained a son, Harrison. Following their marriage, Luis, Kellie, and Harrison moved to Livermore into a house that, naturally, Luis purchased from a friend at work. They lived in that house until they retired. After a few years of searching for the perfect spot to retire, they landed in Bozeman, Montana.

Luis was just as passionate about his hobbies as he was about his work, and was always up for outdoor adventures, whether it be cycling, shooting, camping or hunting. Luis frequently competed in shooting competitions, and was a state champion of marksmanship in multiple states. He served on the boards of the Sunnyvale Rod and Gun Club and the California Rifle and Pistol Association. He also was a member at the Avenal Gun Club and was responsible for starting the Long-Range Precision Rifle Match in Avenal. Cycling was also a large part of his life and he rode most days and many miles on his bike.

In 2013 Luis and Kellie traveled to France so he could ride several of the previous stages in the Tour de France. The Alp d’Huez was his favorite. In 2019, having just completed his cycle of chemotherapy, Luis completed his fourth Ride the Rockies event in Colorado. This ride totaled 434 miles over eight days and raised money for Team Samaritan. Luis was in training and hopeful to complete another Ride the Rockies this year.

Luis was often the life of the party, flashing his contagious smile, teaching a scientific trick or just making others laugh. Luis’ happiness and upbeat attitude was admired by many. Even with a terminal diagnosis, he was an inspiration of resilience; always moving forward, living the best life he could. Luis was a beloved husband, father, son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, nephew and friend. Lucho will be missed by his family and many friends. Given Luis’s enthusiasm for others, his memory may be honored by contributions to the any of the shooting or cycling names listed above or to the donor’s favorite charity.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com