Cover photo for David Soto Bernardi's Obituary
1963 David 2023

David Soto Bernardi

April 4, 1963 — July 9, 2023


David Soto Bernardi, a champion power lifter and beloved member of the Tucson community, has passed away at the age of 60. Born to Leonard Bernardi and Giga Soto on April 4, 1963, in New York, NY, David leaves behind a legacy filled with strength, faith, and love for family.

From his early years, David displayed remarkable athletic prowess. Graduating from Rincon High School in the Class of 1981, where he was a football standout, he soon discovered his passion for powerlifting. David's exceptional abilities propelled him to great heights in the sport, setting a world record in bench press at an incredible 542 pounds (performed naturally). This accomplishment brought him with immense pride and served as a testament to his spirit and dedication.

Beyond his achievements as a powerlifter, David followed diverse paths throughout his life. For several years, he worked as a bouncer for various nightclubs in Tucson, ensuring the safety of patrons while exuding an aura of both strength and approachability. He always treated all with respect and understanding. Later on, he found fulfillment as a produce manager for Fry's supermarket until his well-deserved retirement. After retirement, David became a Deacon in his church responsible for providing support to those in challenging and less fortunate positions. 

David was an avid supporter of the Dallas Cowboys throughout his life. He enjoyed gaming and reading in his leisure time, hobbies that fueled not only his own joy but also created opportunities for beautiful memories with loved ones. One of David's greatest joys was sharing meals and watching movies with his beloved sons, Benjamin and Nathan. He also bonded with them over video games and passed on his knowledge by teaching them how to lift weights as well as study the Bible. 

Those who had the privilege of knowing David will remember him as a larger-than-life character with a great sense of humor. He possessed the invaluable ability to laugh at himself without hesitation. Despite his imposing stature, David approached others with gentleness and never wished harm upon anyone. He was a loyal friend who would go above and beyond to support those he cared about. A truth seeker at heart, he believed in being authentic and genuine in all aspects of life.

David saw both of his boys fall in love and get married, Benjamin to Tawni and Nathan to Brenda.  Tawni and Brenda treated David with great kindness and love.  The brothers and wives will cherish their time with David as they grow the Bernardi family.

David's passing leaves an immeasurable void in the lives of his surviving family and friends. Benjamin and Nathan Bernardi, his loving sons, were a source of immense pride for him. He cherished their accomplishments and celebrated every milestone they achieved. He also leaves behind his stepdaughter, Aliece Fifer, who held a special place in his heart. In addition to his immediate family, David is survived by his mother, Giga Soto; brother and sister-in-law Daniel and Helen Bernardi; sister and brother-in-law, Debra and Greg Goodman; nephews, Sojin, Suhnny and Sondro Bernardi; cousins, Stephanie Bernardi, JoeyBernardi, Camille Bernardi, Aleesa Engquist, Sandra Shrader, Donna Stokes, Gigi Elliott, and Laura, Bertalis, Luigi and Keren Maceira; aunt, Sylvia Soto, and uncle, Steve Soto and aunt Stella Soto. The love David had for them was an essential part of his life.

As we bid farewell to David Soto Bernardi, let us remember the impact he made on all who knew him. His strength inspired others to push their limits and achieve greatness while never forgetting the importance of kindness and compassion. David's legacy will forever live on in the hearts of those whose lives he touched. May he find eternal peace as he waits for us in Heaven.


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