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1 Main Street
Franklin, NJ 07416
Phone: (973) 827-7050
Fax: (973) 827-9193
Bernhard Oesen

Bernhard M. Oesen

Thursday, January 11th, 1940 - Saturday, June 20th, 2020
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On Saturday, June 20, 2020, Bernhard Martin Oesen, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at the age of 80.

Bernhard was born on January 11, 1940 in Braunau, Austria to Martin and Hermine Oesen. He was educated in Salzburg at Klessheim Culinary Institute. He worked in several European countries before his arrival in America. He arrived in New Jersey in 1968 as a ski instructor at Great Gorge ski resort in Vernon, New Jersey. There he met Carol and on June 8, 1970 they were married.
They raised four children Michael Ehrlich, Peter, Meghan, and Gretchen.

In 1980 Bernhard and Carol purchased a tavern they named Bernhard’s Red Mill. They owned and operated their family restaurant in Sussex, NJ for twenty four years.

Bernhard was an avid skier. He continued to teach skiing and working at Vernon Valley, now called Mountain Creek ski resort as a greeter. His love of the sport started in Austria and brought him to the states where he shared it with so many.
He was a member of the U.S. Chef’s Ski Team and in 1984 qualified to represent the U.S. in international competition in Cortina Italy. Of course wherever he skied his family would follow.

Bernhard was a farmer, gardener, and hunter. He raised pigs, cows, horses, chickens, and bees. He was a member of the Sussex County BeeKeepers Association. A highlight for him was his participation with the BeeKeepers at the Sussex County Farm & Horse Show every August.

His stories were endless and he was always eager to tell his tales. From surviving being buried in an avalanche in the Austrian alps to playing soccer with the actual Beatles on the beach in Wales, if you had a few hours to listen he would share his adventures.

Bernhard enjoyed soccer, skiing, bicycling, tennis and so much more but above all he loved people. He enjoyed entertaining with good food, abundant drink, and of course Austrian music. A man who loved to make people laugh and smile, will be remembered for his generosity. He organized an annual Venison dinner to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Bernhard was preceded in death by his father, Martin, and his mother, Hermine. He is survived by his wife Carol, his five children, Gabi Reusser, Michael Ehrlich (Susan), Peter Oesen (Stefanie), Meghan Miller (Todd), and Gretchen Stefankiewicz (Aaron), his brothers Peter Oesen, Tony Promeger, Roman Promeger, and Raimund Oesen, and grandchildren Sam and Mia Ehrlich, Nicolas and Noah Reusser, Madeline and Max Miller, Natalie, Elise, Luke, and Sophie Stefankewicz, Penelope and Ruby Oesen.

A visitation for Bernhard will be held on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 from 4-7PM at the Ferguson Funeral Home, 27 Third Street, Sussex, NJ 07461. Due to New Jersey Government Executive Orders, only fifty people with facial masks worn at all times will be permitted in the building. A Mass of Christian Burial at St. Monica’s RC Church in Sussex will be private. Burial in the Clove Cemetery will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be offered at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Ferguson Funeral Home
    27 Third Street
    SUSSEX, NJ 07461
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: American Cancer Society.


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Private Condolence

Garrett Tomasino and family

Posted at 09:54am
Our hearts go out to the Oesen family.

Maria Russian

Posted at 10:48pm
Dear friend Bernhard would always ask me to dance a waltz where John Russian and myself , would see Carol and Bernhard at a festival. Always enjoyed a dance with him. John and I would find Bernhard and Carol where there was dancing to live bands. Bernhard would often be in Austrian dress at festivals. It suited him well when in Austrian 'Tracht '. I believe he could sing along to the old country music. I will miss him . Aufwiedersehen Bernhard. Feilen dank fur so schoen ein wazlter. Maria (Mary)

Joseph Riggs

Posted at 05:52pm
Bernhard was legendary in so many areas. My own experiences were ski related, plus being fed at his restaurant through all the years. Bernhard defined the meaning of the word “gentleman,” along with processing such amazing talents in so many diverse areas. Bernhard’s was a life well lived, an example for us all to emulate. Cindy and I send our prayers to Carol and all the family. God bless you all.

Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 09:46am
Bernhard, a brave heart, a most honorable man, deeply beloved by everyone, full of responsibility, a great brother! Be our guarding angel, Toni+ Peter
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Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 09:19am
Dear Bernhard, you were a wonderful uncle and a unique, incomparable person. We will always carry you in our hearts. Stefan, Petra und Michi
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