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

He was born on August 21, 1924, to Anton and Elizabeth (Wolter) Berns on the family farm outside Garnavillo, Iowa. 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 September 15, 1949, at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Guttenberg, IA. Their marriage was blessed with 9 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. He is also survived by one brother, Francis (Fritz) Berns, of Englewood, CO.

He was preceded in death by his parents, 5 sisters and 1 brother.

Arrangements are being handled by Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, 001 S Industrial Park Rd, Garnavillo, IA. There will be a Rosary at 9:30 a.m. and then the family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, June 11, 2021, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Garnavillo, IA. Funeral service will be at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 11 a.m. Friday, June 11, 2021, Rev. Marvin Bries officiating. Interment will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Garnavillo, IA.

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