Houck, an active community icon and local electrician passed away May 20 at the age of 56 while walking in Mission Beach on San Luis Obispo Court.
Houck, who was born June 6, 1955, moved to Pacific Beach in 1977 from Maryland and began Beach Electric in 1986. His iconic, electric-powered truck could be seen all over the beach area.
For more than three decades in the beach area, Houck had many customers who were not only clients, but who also became his good friends, said those close to Houck.
“Bernie was like my big brother,” said Otto Emme, a Pacific Beach resident. “He was more than a provider of electrical repair but a proud family man who was proud of his son and of living the beach lifestyle.”
Emme said Houck was deeply involved with community activities, including volunteering time to help the Mission Bay Little League, working Pacific Beach Town Council beach festivities, parades and at the Pacific Beach Recreational Center.
Mourners remembered Houck as a good friend to his neighbors, customers and the community members he continually came in contact with.
Bill Luther Realty in Pacific Beach was among Houck’s clients.
“He not only handled electricity for all of our properties but he was also a good friend of mine,” said Luther. “It is very sad and it happened so suddenly. Bernie’s death is a terrible loss to the community and the community doesn’t even realize it at this time.”
Luther also stressed how much time Houck and his wife, Ruby, gave to various community events. He said Houck may not have been known by many in the community because Houck typically toiled behind the scenes.
“The other day I was having some problems with my barbecue and my first thought was to call Bernie, but I couldn’t because he’s gone,” Luther said. “When I saw his truck at the memorial, it began to hit me that he was really gone and I wasn’t going to see him again.”
Emme echoed the loss.
“It is going to be a while before I stop looking for his electrical truck driving around the beach area in the mornings and throughout the day because Bernie and Beach Electric was part of our beach culture,” Emme said.
Houck is survived by his wife of 23 years, Ruby; and 21-year-old son, Lee.