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Hoosier Harvest Cookbook
 
Obituaries
 
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.

  • January 26
    BC Commissioners
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • January 27
    Widowed group euchre party
    1 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive
  • January 27
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • January 27
    Open 12-step meetings in New Bellsville area
    6 to 7 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • January 27
    BC Election Board
    2 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • January 27
    BC Area Plan Commission
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • January 28
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • January 28
    BC Sheriff's Merit Board
    4 p.m. Law Enforcement Center, 55 State Road 46 East
  • January 28
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • January 29
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • January 30
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • January 31
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • January 31
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • February 2
    Gnaw Bone Sewage District
    5:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 3
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • February 3
    Bean Blossom Regional Sewer Board
    7:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 4
    Lake Lemon Conservancy District annual meeting
    6 p.m. Benton Township Senior Center, 7616 E. State Road 45, Unionville
  • February 4
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • February 4
    Van Buren Township Advisory Board
    7 p.m. Van Buren trustee's office, 4748 Christianburg Road
  • February 5
    Jackson Township Board
    6 p.m. Jackson Fire Station, 4831 Helmsburg Road
  • February 6
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • February 9
    Washington Township Trustees
    7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • February 12
    BC Convention & Visitors Commission
    8:30 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 13
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North.
  • February 14
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • February 17
    Hamblen Trustee Board annual review
    6:30 p.m. 2314 Hickory Ridge Lane off Hornettown Road