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Bernard “Bernie” Gregory Torreyson, 73, of LaPlata, Maryland, died September 29, 2023. He was born August 3, 1950.
He was preceded in death by his father, Bernard G. Torreyson Sr, his mother, Doris M. Torreyson, his sister, Elizabeth Keener, and his son Michael W. Seibel.
He is survived by his wife, Melinda Torreyson, brother, Philip Torreyson (Sherrie), sister, Victoria Brown (Robert T), son Robert Torreyson (Melissa), daughter in law Megan Seibel, grandchildren, Ryan and Justin Torreyson, Isabella and Alyssa Seibel, many nieces and nephews, in-laws and many dear friends.
Bernie was a motorcycle mechanic and so much more. He enjoyed motorcycles, history, traveling, cooking, building motorcycle motors, his grandchildren, and you tube.
Bernie grew up in Wayside, MD on a cattle farm named Milton Hill. His love for machinery began at a very young age. He showed great interest in the family tractors. He attended Glasva Elementary school. His father passed away in 1959 and the family of four moved to Bladensburg, MD in 1965 where he attended Bladensburg High School. He often remarked about being the odd man out, as he was a country boy in flannel and jeans in a city of preps and greasers.
His love for motorcycles began when he got a job working at FreeState Cycle in Peace Cross prepping Triumph and Honda motorcycles. He attended Honda School in Cherry Hill, NJ. He had told me of seeing 1% motorcycle clubs ride through town on choppers and he knew what he wanted to do with his life. From there he worked at Ken Dixon, Routt's Cycle Center, Karma Cycles, and a couple of other chopper shops.
His son Robert was born in August of 1972. He was encouraged by Sonny Routt to open his own shop. T&S Cycle was opened in Hyattsville, MD in 1979. Bernie always had a love for Triumph Motorcycles and especially choppers. His friends always pushed him to work on their Harleys and he honed his skills as a master mechanic. He built many award-winning motorcycles for the World of Wheels Shows, the International Motorcycle Show, and many other local shows.
Bernie, myself, and my son Michael began hanging out in September 1982. Our first official date was Daytona Bike Week in March 1983. If you want a relationship to last you need to be friends first. Bernie always encouraged me that if he could do it, so could I. He taught me how to ride a motorcycle on his Triumph named Killer. The clutch lever was so hard to pull in that I had to use both hands. We began working together in the bike shop and moved in together shortly afterward.
Drugs and alcohol were a big part of our story. We moved from Prince Georges County to Charles County for a geographical change in 1985 and opened The Kustom Shoppe in White Plains. In 1988 after a bitter battle with drugs and alcohol, Bernie and I decided to give AA and NA a chance. This began our 35 year sobriety journey. At 9 months sober he joined The Sober Tramps Motorcycle Club founded by Griz, Phil, and Gary. Bernie was loyal to the patch and its motto, “To thine own self be true”. Bernie loved promoting events and hosting people to have a good time in the recovery community. He was very involved and instrumental in starting the Pig Roast, Chicken Picken, and the Bull Roasts.
We began attending church at Old Durham in 1997 and married there in June of 1999. Bernie served many positions in the parish including Vestry member, Senior Warden, and Junior Warden. He led us in morning prayer many times and was always so nervous and humbled to be able to do this.
We went to Sturgis, SD in 2000 and test rode the Victory Motorcycle while there. We fell in love with the new American motorcycle, and we became a dealer for them. Our dealership thrived and grew, we made it to number 5 in North America. We enjoyed many trips to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Utah, Key West, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, France and many other places. Hard work, honesty, and dedication. We met many wonderful people and became fast friends. Bernie earned the nickname of 3M–Maryland Motorcycle Master. When someone was stumped, they would call Bernie for advice.
Our son, Michael went into the Navy in 1999 and married Megan in 2002. We were blessed with Isabella in 2002 and Alyssa in 2005. In 2006 our son, Robert and his wife Melissa gave birth to our grandson Ryan and in 2010 our grandson Justin. Bernie and I love being grandparents, our grandchildren have given us a second chance to do things better, and they have filled a special place in our lives.
Bernie was very involved in AA, church, The Sober Tramps motorcycle club, and his work at The Kustom Shoppe. Bernie always believed just do the next right thing and he was always willing to share his knowledge of everything, especially motorcycles, and offer a helping hand to anyone who approached him. When asked whom did he want to pray for his answer was the men and women still suffering from alcoholism and addictions.
In 2016 our beloved son, Michael passed away from an AVM and seizures. In January 2017 Polaris discontinued the Victory brand and in September 2017 we needed to move our shop. Bernie and I set out to find the best place to move to and there wasn't much available at that time. We ended up purchasing property in Hughesville and set out to finish out our careers doing what he did best, work on motorcycles. In June of 2018 Bernie had a triple heart bypass with a mitral valve repair. In February 2020 the doors to The Kustom Shoppe officially opened. In August of 2023 he was diagnosed with liver lesions – Cholangiocarcinoma. He was called home seven weeks later. Bernie was the love of my life, my best friend, and he has left behind a huge hole in my soul. If I’d have known the last time was the last time..... No matter what, I know that I will see him again some day. Ride in Peace my love.
There will be visitation on Friday, November 10, 2023 from 5:00-8:00 pm at Christ Church Durham Parish 8700 Ironsides Rd, Nanjemoy, MD in the church hall.
The funeral with burial will be on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 11:00 am in the Church.
There will be a repast in the church hall following the service.
Please feel free to bring a dish to share. The main course (meats) will be provided.
Memorial contributions may be made to Christ Church Durham Parish (https://durhamparish.org/) or Wreaths Across America (Cheltenham Cemetery) www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org/MD0413