John J. Berns

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John Joseph Berns, 68, of Garnavillo, died on Sunday, June 2, 2024.

Visitation was Sunday, June 9, at Morris Funeral Home in Garnavillo and before services at the church.

Funeral services were Monday, June 10, conducted by Rev. Marvin Bries.

Burial was in the church cemetery.

John was born on Feb. 28, 1956, in Guttenberg, to Leon and Phyllis (Junk) Berns and was raised on the family farm outside of Garnavillo, along with his eight siblings. John graduated from Garnavillo High School in 1974. While in high school, John worked as a senior welder at Double LL Farm Equipment in Garnavillo. Shortly after, John pursued his passion as a full-time, lifelong farmer. He was honored to continue the farming tradition on the home farm, which earned the 150+ year Heritage Farm recognition during his lifetime. John was proud of the many major farm conservation efforts continually being implemented. John’s greatest joys in life were farming and family. His most prized accomplishments, however, were his children, Anna, Levi, and Sophia. He was eternally proud of their many accomplishments and milestones. John also had a lifetime love of what his children called his “fancy” cars. 

John was a devoted lifelong member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Garnavillo. He always loved a good fish fry during the Lenten season. He was an instrumental force in the completion of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery Chapel. After a long day of farming, John enjoyed nothing more than a bottle of Coors Light with friends or family on the deck, enjoying the evening scenery and solving the world’s problems. His three children will forever cherish the many tractor and semi rides and family vacations, along with the endless music trivia he imparted. John was a treasured father, brother, son, and friend to all. Everyone who knew John will remember his infectious laugh, smile, and never-ending jokes for every occasion. 

John is survived by his children, Anna (Umar Chohan), Levi (Kendra Paus), and Sophia; his mother, Phyllis Berns; brothers, Charles (Heidi) Berns, Tom (June) Berns; sisters, Julie (Jon) Jordahl, Beth (Stephen) Young, Barbara Berns (Joe Leone), Rita (Chet) Koth, Nancy (Scott) Neeley; brother-in-law, Mike Thornton, along with many nieces, nephews and countless friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Leon Berns; and his sister, DeAnne Thornton.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made in John’s memory to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Garnavillo or local EMS services.

Information is available at Memorials may be sent to Morris Funeral Home (in care of the deceased), 207 S. First St., Guttenberg, IA 52052.

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