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Peter (Pete) Bermel

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Shortly after 10am on Saturday, Oct 21, 2017, Peter Francis Bermel, age 89, joined the Chapter Eternal. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Barbara Jean Clark Bermel. Pete and Bobbie, as they are known to their barbershop family and friends, have had a wonderful life together.

In addition to his devotion to his wife, Pete spent 47 years devoted to his career with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), rising from work in the field to become second in command as the Assistant Director for Plans and Programs, a position that made him one of three permanent witnesses each year before the Interior Budget Committee. He received the Meritorious Civil Servant Award from President George H.W. Bush and the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of the Interior. He was a charter member of the Senior Executive Service created by President Carter. He was a member of the Explorers Club and served a term as President of the Antarctica Society.

Over the years, he and Bobbie traveled to some amazing locations, including the Everglades, Big Cypress Swamp, and Isle Royale National Wilderness Park, where Pete worked on mapping and topographies. His greatest achievements included leading two expeditions to the South Pole, and he was a recognized expert on Antarctica. The Bermel Escarpment and the Bermel Peninsula are named after him, with the latter honor being bestowed on him by the United Kingdom.

Another passion that both Pete and Bobbie enjoyed was barbershop singing. Pete was a member of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Quartet Singing in America (aka The Barbershop Harmony Society) for 54 years, serving in many capacities. He was a member of the Fairfax Jubil-Aires for all of those 54 years and a dual member of the Mount Vernon Harmony Heritage Singers for 9 years. Pete was dedicated to preserving this wonderful genre of uniquely American music.

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