A past president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association who later became a well-known figure on the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) has passed away.
Paul Bernhard of Bancroft died yesterday at an Algona hospital after a short illness. He was 88.
The man who raised hogs and became known as “Mr. Pork Chop” started grilling and selling the delicious pork cuts to RAGBRAI bicyclists in 1979 and his signature “pork choooooooop” call earned him the popular nickname.
Bernhard retired from his hands-on role as a RAGBRAI vendor after the 2007 ride, but still attended the rides and visited with the thousands of riders. Bernhard turned the annual operation over to his son, Matt, and he continues to sell the chops each year along the route.
Bernhard served as president of the IPPA Board of Directors in 1972.
Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bancroft with a Scripture Prayer Service at 6 p.m., followed by a 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Rosary. A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bancroft.