Leon A. Berns

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Leon Anthony Berns, 96, died peacefully on June 7, 2021, at the Guttenberg Care Center.

Funeral services were Friday, June 11, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Garnavillo, conducted by Rev. Marvin Bries. Visitation was before services at the church.

Interment was at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Garnavillo.

Arrangements were handled by Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, Garnavillo.

Leon was born on Aug. 21, 1924, to Anton and Elizabeth (Wolter) Berns on the family farm outside Garnavillo. He was a conscientious and dedicated farmer. He was proud of the 150+ year Heritage Farm status of the family farming operation and the many conservation awards presented to them. That legacy is now being continued in the same ethical hard-working manner that Leon set for his sons and grandsons. 

In 1945, Leon was drafted into the army and trained at Camp Roberts in California. He served his country for two years, one of which was in Korea helping to rebuild that country. He concluded his service with an honorable discharge.

After discharge he returned to the family farm in Iowa and soon met the love of his life, Phyllis Junk, a secretary at a Guttenberg farm implement dealership. They married on Sept. 15, 1949, at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Guttenberg. Their marriage was blessed with nine children. Family was important to Leon. He truly enjoyed celebrating holidays, anniversaries, and other special occasions with his family. Some of his other pleasures were square dancing and bowling.

Leon’s faith was very important to him, he was a lifelong member of St Joseph’s Catholic Church and was a Knights of Columbus member for many years.

One of Leon’s greatest pleasures was a good game of euchre. His daughters joked that he tested future sons-in-law by their euchre skills. Leon was a good storyteller and often reminisced in detail about his youth and growing up on the farm he loved and cared for all his life.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 71 years, Phyllis; his children, Julie (Jon) Jordahl, Beth (Stephen) Young, DeAnne (Mike) Thornton, Charles (Heidi) Berns, John Berns, Barbara Berns (Joe Leone), Rita (Chet) Koth, Tom (June) Berns, and Nancy (Scott) Neeley; 21 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren and one on the way; brother Francis (Fritz) Berns of Englewood, Colo.

He was preceded in death by his parents; five sisters and one brother.

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