Cover photo for Bernd Mewes's Obituary
Bernd Mewes Profile Photo
1943 Bernd 2022

Bernd Mewes

October 4, 1943 — May 3, 2022

Bernd (Ben) Mewes died May 3, 2022, in Pocatello ID en route with wife Lucie to their new home, a 1968 Wood Monk 40’ CAMELOT in Port Orchard, WA. 


Born October 4, 1943 in Brested, Germany, Ben was trained as a Boatbuilder after elementary school.  In 1965 he followed his sister Dorit to San Francisco to continue his craft in Sausalito. He was drafted into the US Army in 1967 to serve in Viet Nam. (Ben was happy to use his Veterans Health Benefits.) Returning to the Bay Area, Ben married Gisela Linder and celebrated the birth of his son, Patrick Quincy in 1969. Ben continued his career as a boat builder for Don Philbrick and others before joining a firm making precast concrete.  He always proudly pointed to the “Juke Box” Marriot as something he worked on. The family moved to Pleasanton, CA where he took up Ice Hockey, often recalling the team trip to Vancouver, BC as a highlight. Soon he struck out on his own as a contractor with Bens Woodcrafts – building decks in the summer and interior remodeling in the winter. 


Ben’s independence was well-suited to his active sailboat racing on SF Bay. He owned several boats, preferring the hard chine design over others.  Ben supported his racing community, actively serving Island Yacht Club in all its programs and as Commodore in 1997. The Singlehanded Sailing Society of SF Bay was his “sailing family.” In 1997 he bought the Custom Van de Stadt 40’ GEORGIA to sail to Hawaii in the 2000 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race. He raced her in the 1998 Great Pacific Longitude Race, winning First in Class, First Overall, and setting a course record which held for 15 years.  He sailed his “little boat,” the Black Soo MIRAGE, to the 2007 and 2010 SSS Season Championship. Ben and Lucie chaired these long-distance races in 2006, 2013 and 2014.


In 2013, GEORGIA retired from racing when Ben and Lucie sailed her to Mexico to cruise warmer waters.  They became “snowbirds,” camping in summers and sailing Mexico in winters. They found a cute A-Frame and camped cross country to Boston to attend the Wellesley graduation of granddaughter Shannon in 2019. For the past two years Ben and Lucie were Camp Hosts on the Olympic Peninsula and discovered the beauty of the Northwest. They bought CAMELOT to explore Puget Sound and sold GEORGIA to a new sailor in Puerto Vallarta.


Ben leaves Lucie Van Breen, his wife of 17 years; his sister Dorit Schmidt-Petersen of Willits, CA; his son Patrick Mewes and family of Pueblo, CO; his stepdaughter Nora Wilcox of Oakland; stepson Garth Bascom and family of Poulsbo, WA; and three granddaughters. He is preceded in death by his brother Jurgen Mewes and first wife Gisela Linder Mewes.  He took with him his voice – “never mistaken or forgotten” – and his Hot German Potato Salad recipe.


A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday October 22, 2022 at the Richmond Yacht Club, 351 Brickyard Cove Road, Point Richmond CA 94801. Questions about the service can be directed to Lucie Mewes at 510-301-0319..  Remembrance Gifts may be made to The Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir, the Amador Valley High School Music Program, and the Monterey Jazz Festival Education Scholarship Program. 


Memories and condolences may be shared with the family under the "Tribute Wall" tab above. 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Starts at 2:30 pm (Mountain time)

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