Verdine Berns

Verdine J. Berns, 79, of Waukon died Thursday, March 10, 2016 at his home in rural Waukon surrounded by his loving family. Funeral services were held Monday, March 14 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon, with Rev. Msgr. Cletus Hawes, Fr. Donald Hawes, Rev. Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg, Fr. Gary Mayer and Deacon Mike Ward officiating. Burial with military graveside rites was at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Waukon. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Patrick Catholic School or Veterans Memorial Hospital, both in Waukon.
Verdine John Berns was born July 5, 1936 in Union Prairie Township in rural Waukon, the son of Bernard "Verni" and Eleanora (Taake) Berns. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church West Ridge. He attended Union Prairie #2 country school and graduated from Waukon High School in 1955. Verdine proudly served in the United States Army from 1955-1958.
September 15, 1962, he married Mavis Schulte at St. Mary's Hanover Catholic Church in rural Waukon. Verdine worked for Hygrade in Postville for 13 years while he was starting a farm operation east of Waukon, where the family still farms. He sold seed corn for many years and enjoyed working with his customers.
Verdine was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, VFW and National Farmers Organization, and served as a trustee for Makee Township. He enjoyed golfing, card club, snowmobile trips, fishing trips and hunting with his family and friends. Verdine also enjoyed playing shuffleboard, softball, volleyball, working in his garden, cookouts and boating. Verdine and Mavis enjoyed traveling in the United States and abroad and spending time at their cabin in Harpers Ferry. He treasured his time with his family, especially his grandchildren and following their activities. Verdine was dedicated to his family, the farm animals, and was a steward of the land. He was a social person with a great sense of humor.
Survivors include his wife, Mavis, of Waukon; his children: Laura (Bryan) Arensdorf of Waukon, Brad (Erin) Berns of Waukon and their children, Brock, Brigid and Brenna; Brent (Anne) Berns of Decorah and their children, Brooke, Drew, Riley and Reid; and Lisa (Craig) Anderson of Charles City and their children, Gillian and Jase; a sister, Mary Ann (Ray) Burke of Waukon; three brothers: Francis (Muggs) Berns, Arthur (Joan) Berns and Bernard (Eileen) Berns, all of Waukon.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Karla Kay Berns, and Betty Howe and her husband, Emmett; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Hank and Gert Schulte; and two nephews, Kevin Howe and Jeff Berns.
Honorary casketbearers were Tony and Terry Link, Dale and Julie Fagner, and Dr. David and Joan Schwartz. Casketbearers were his Godchildren, Jerry Berns, Reg Schulte, Peggy Monson, Karen Mathis, Vicki Schutte, Becky Benzing and double nephew Bryan Berns.
Online condolences may be left at


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