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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.

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  • November 1
    Annual chicken noodle dinner, craft bazaar at Christiansburg church
    4 to 7 p.m. Christiansburg United Methodist Church, 7372 S. Christianburg Road
  • November 1
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 1
    Annual craft, bake sale at Helmsburg church
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brown County Community Church, 2370 Main St.
  • November 1
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • November 1
    Annual bazaar, quilt raffle, bake sale, bean dinner
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Goshen Community Church, 2798 Gatesville Road, Bean Blossom
  • November 3
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission
    4:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • November 4
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • November 4
    Government offices CLOSED
  • November 4
    Open 12-step meetings in New Bellsville area
    7 to 8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • November 5
    Woodworkers club
    7 p.m. Charlie Roush's Shop, 6987 Christianberg Road
  • November 5
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • November 6
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • November 6
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • November 6
    Salt Creek Trail Committee
    10 a.m. BC Parks & Rec. Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • November 6
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6:30 p.m. Helmsburg Elementary School, 5378 Helmsburg School Road
  • November 6
    Rotary Club
    7:15 a.m. Artists Colony Inn, 105 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 7
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • November 8
    Second Saturday Village Art Walk
    5 to 8 p.m. Downtown Nashville
  • November 8
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • November 8
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 8
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • November 11
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 11
    Government Offices CLOSED
  • November 12
    Mandatory scholarship meeting at the high school
    6:30 p.m. Brown County High School, 235 School House Lane
  • November 12
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • November 13
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • November 14
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • November 15
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 15
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • November 18
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 19
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • November 20
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • November 23
    Nashville Reserve Officers host chili cook-off
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nashville P.D., 200 Hawthorne Drive
  • December 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road