It brings us great sadness to share the passing of Bernard Besal. To say that he’ll be missed is an understatement. His journey in this life crossed the paths of many and touched the lives of an uncountable number of people. We mourn the loss of a leader in our industry and a good man.
A dear friend of Barney’s stated, “a gentleman is someone who puts the comfort of others before himself,” and by this definition Barney was truly a gentleman.
Bernard was a founding member of the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association. He served as President and on multiple committees. He has been instrumental in bringing our Association to higher levels of credibility and recognition through his work on the Board of Directors, as a Chairman of the ANSI Standards Development Committee and his work with the NFPA 96 Standards Technical Committee. Barney was influential in the development of the Certified Service Agent program for Gaylord Manufacturing, which has benefited so many around the world.
Barney has left behind a family that loved him dearly, a group of friends that will be at a loss without him and an industry that will likely never again see a man of such character, devotion, and passion.
Barney always left more than he took. This attribute in him contributed more to IKECA than any single influence, and what made him so memorable to us. His dedication and generosity will be painfully missed.
So many of us have benefited from the tireless efforts of this true leader, including countless food service facility owners and operators; his life’s work has saved lives. Because of his giving of himself and his willingness to elevate the industry, there is no way to know how many people have benefited from his work.
Bernard Besal reflected the character, described by Theodore Roosevelt, as a man who contended in the arena of life. Undoubtedly, there were times where he was bloodied and bruised, but he contended. Barney not only contended, but he was a victor in the life he lived.
In the measure of things that matter, the love he has shown and the good he has done, will be memorialized in the hearts of those he has left behind.
Barney, we will miss you.