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Hoosier Harvest Cookbook
Russel “Russ” Jon Berna, 71

Russel “Russ” Jon Berna, 71, passed away Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Bloomington with his wife and best friend, Donna, by his side. 

The world lost a wonderful man. Russ was born July 19, 1942, in Elgin, Illinois, to Henry “Hap” Berna and Marion Liedberg. He spent his younger years stirring up harmless trouble in Burlington, Illinois, before graduating from high school in 1960. His career spanned 30 years at American Breeders Service in DeForest, Wisconsin. He started as a technician and ended his career as the international sales manager. He traveled the world, sharing his charm with all he met. A remarkable businessman and mentor to many, Russ never knew a stranger and had a smile that lit up the world. Russ was charismatic, had a great sense of humor and wit and a love for animals, especially dogs and horses. He enjoyed life, especially spending time with Donna and friends riding the trails of southern Indiana on his beloved horse, Suede. 

Russ is survived by his wife, Donna Burkhardt of Nashville; two daughters, Lori (Travis) Chapman of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and Dawn (Dan) Eyre of Germantown, Wisconsin; five grandchildren, Brianne (Eric) Arnold and Amber (Drew) Kraus, both of Madison, Conner, Quinn, and Alexis Eyre of Germantown; his great-granddaughter Parker Arnold; sister, Cheri Chipman of Littleton, Colorado; and brother, Rodney (Sue) Berna of St. Louis, Missouri; his first wife, Bonnie Kelsey of Madison, Wisconsin; many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends. He is also survived by several foreign exchange students who thought of him as their "dad". 

He was preceded in death by his father, Hap Berna; mother Marion Berna; and brother-in-law, Ed Chipman.   

Russ was stricken with Alzheimer’s at 63. Donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association to help rid the world of this terrible disease.

Special thanks goes to Donna’s family and friends for their ongoing support as she cared for Russ. The family would like to thank the caring staff at Golden Living Center in Bloomington, Southern Care Hospice, and Joey Wiles, who was Russ’s beloved weekday caregiver for many years.

Russ left us at 71, but he lived life to the fullest. He will be missed by many, but his memory and wisdom will live on in our hearts forever.  “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” - Dr. Seuss. 

A celebration of Russ’ life will be conducted at a later date.

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Josephine Lee Cueto, 62, Morgantown
  Daughter of Priscilla Burgmeier of Nashville

Mary 'Jane' Kollman, 92, Nashville
  Mother of Janet (Tom) Gaskins of Nashville

Charlotte K. (Adkins) Wilson, 67, Franklin
  Former resident of Brown County

  • November 23
    Annual community-wide hymn sing planned
    6:30 p.m. Nashville Christian Church, 160 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 23
    Nashville Reserve Officers host chili cook-off
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nashville P.D., 200 Hawthorne Drive
  • November 25
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 25
    Open 12-step meetings in New Bellsville area
    6 to 7 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • November 28
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • November 29
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 29
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • December 2
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 3
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • December 4
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • December 12
    Widowed group plans Christmas party
    noon Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • December 12
    BCSP Christmas bird count slated
    8 a.m. BCSP Nature Center, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • December 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road