Bernard Paul Kalish Sr., 68, entered eternal rest on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, after a long illness.

He was born in Sumter, a son of the late Elizabeth Justice Kalish-Housen and Joseph John Kalish Sr. He worked with Alfred Allsbrook at Sumter Electric & Allsbrook Electric before attending Arizona State University. He returned to Sumter to work for Central Electric. In the late 1970s, he started Kalish Electric Co. with his brother, Michael. They specialized in industrial electrical contracting and handled extremely large contracts with companies like Campbell Soup and Gold Kist, along with many others. Later, Bernard earned his master electrician's license and further expanded the business.

Over many decades, Bernard volunteered his time and electrical services to many organizations such as Wilson Hall, various companies and the Masons. Mr. Bernard Kalish Sr. was a member of Sumter Masonic Lodge No. 364 AFM, where he was initiated, passed and raised to the sublime degree of master mason in 2001, served as worshipful master of Sumter Masonic Lodge 364 and was appointed district deputy of the 5th Grand York Rite District of South Carolina. He was a past right eminent commander of Palmetto 54. Mr. Kalish Sr. was a 32nd Degree Master of the Royal Secret, Mason Scottish Rite at the Valley of Columbia Scottish Rite. He was active in the Holy Royal Arch Chapter, Seymour Council and the Sumter Commandery of Sumter.

Bernard loved the outdoors. He was a great gardener and an avid hunter and fisherman. He spent many hours on the water, and he loved to take family, friends and business associates to fish in the Gulf Stream out of Murrells Inlet. Bernard had a soft heart for all animals, especially abandoned ones. He had many stray cats and dogs that shared his home over the decades, but two of his favorites were Scout and Bella.

To say he was born into a large family would be an understatement. He had eight siblings and more than 50 nieces, nephews, great and great-great-nieces and nephews, just on his side of the family. More than being outdoors or with his many animals, Bernard loved his family the most - both ones that were related or ones that he thought of as family. If a family member was in a bind and he had the wherewithal, he would immediately help.

Survivors include two daughters, Alice Elizabeth Kalish (Mike Hanson) of Los Angeles, California, and Lesley Kalish Gibson of Nashville, Tennessee; two sons, Bernard Paul Kalish Jr. of Los Angeles and Patrick Joseph Kalish (Hannah) of Charleston; five grandchildren, Madison Brienne Camp, Harper Louise Elizabeth Kalish, Matthew Lowder Kalish, Andrew Wright Gibson II and Parker Chi Kalish; one brother, John Franklin Kalish Sr. (Kris) of Mocksville, North Carolina; two sisters, Elizabeth Anne Zuro (Owen) of Tucson, Arizona, and Dolly Kalish Brown (Mike) of Mount Pleasant; and former wife, Janice McDaniel Kalish of Sumter.

Bernard was preceded in death by five brothers, Joseph John Kalish, James Thomas Kalish, Michael Edward Kalish, Ralph Nicholas Kalish and Stephen Richard Kalish.

Visitation will be held from 11 to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday at Bullock Funeral Home, followed by a graveside service at noon at Sumter Cemetery.

You may go to and sign the family's guest book.

The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home for the arrangements.