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Roll Call Tribute

Bernard Syfan '48 April 4, 2024 12:53 PM updated: April 9, 2024 11:58 AM

Bernard F. Syfan 

November 30, 1926 - February 19, 2024 

Bernard F. Syfan '48 passed away at his ranch in Mountain Home, Texas. Born in Ingram, where his family helped establish Pleasure Hill, Bernard, his two sisters, and three brothers grew up enjoying everything the Hill Country has to offer.

Like his brothers before him, Bernard attended Texas A&M University before joining the Navy and then building an accomplished career in Civil Engineering and Construction. In retirement, he sailed the world with his wife Betty before settling down at their ranch in Mountain Home, which they named Riachuelo. Later, Bernard found happiness with his wife Jan, who was a devoted companion until his passing at Riachuelo.

Bernard's journey through life was marked by a deep appreciation for nature, a love for animals, and an adventurous spirit that led him to explore the far reaches of the globe. Those close to him will remember his go-to cure for stomach ailments, rice with lime — the only thing that helped when he got sick while traveling the Nile — and his calm demeanor in the face of challenges big and small.

He was also known for his wit and humor, often joking about his unconventional dinner table seat — a refurbished antique toilet — which meant he was always seated "on the throne."

He was inspired by his great aunt, who played a pivotal role in the creation of San Antonio's iconic River Walk, and his grandfather, an artist, and he carried a sense of pride in his family's contributions to the community. Throughout his life, he dedicated himself to his community through involvement in both local and national politics.

Bernard will be remembered by his friends and family, including his surviving wife Jan, as well as his 3 surviving children Rollins "Rye" Syfan, Lisa Mitchell, and Christine Barber, 7 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren, for his sharp wit, boundless curiosity, his love of art and reading, and his beautiful woodworking, which always bore his special signature: an intricate cursive "S." 


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