Avalo 'Al' Berns

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Avalo A. “Al” Berns, 82, of Prairie du Chien, passed away Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at his home following a brief illness. 

He was born Sept. 13, 1938, on the farm near Tilston, Manitoba, the son of Clarence and Alvina (Uriell) Berns. He graduated from Garnavillo High School in Garnavillo, Iowa, before serving in the United States Air Force during both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He served as an Air Force plane mechanic and crew chief in TAC command primarily working on C-130 aircraft. He married Lucille Sperfslage on Nov. 26, 1965. Together, they ran a machine shop in Earlville, Iowa, for five years, and a jewelry store in Manchester, Iowa, for 12 years before moving to Prairie du Chien, where they owned and operated a flower shop (Garden City) and a gift shop (Avalo Designs) for 27 years until retirement. Al was a devoted father, a loving husband, and a devout Catholic. He was known for his quick wit and his mechanical and artistic talent. 

He is survived by his daughter, Ann Berns; his sister, Gwenneth Maass; his brother-in-law, Herbert (Theresia) Sperfslage; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. 

He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Lucille (Sperfslage) Berns; and his sister, Mary Mardel.

A Memorial Mass of Resurrection will be Thursday, Nov. 5, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Gabriel’s Church of the Holy Family Parish in Prairie du Chien, Msgr. Charles Stoetzel officiating with interment in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Garnavillo, Iowa. Military honors will be accorded graveside. Friends may call at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Prairie Catholic Schools. The Garrity Funeral Home, of Prairie du Chien, is assisting the family. 

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