|Birth: ||Apr. 20, 1918|
|Death: ||Aug. 22, 2012|
Ruth Elizabeth (Bishop) Berns, of Springfield, formerly of Pana and Oconee, died Wednesday, August 22, 2012 in St. Joseph's Home, Springfield. She was born April, 20 1918, in Heyworth, IL, the fifth child of James Glenn and Merna Vere (Ross) Bishop. She attended elementary school there. During her senior year in Heyworth High School, her family moved to Clinton, IL. Since Ruth wanted to finish school in Heyworth, she got permission from the school board to do so without paying tuition. She attended Illinois State University. Upon graduation, Ruth took a teaching job in Rosamond, IL, as a business and physical education teacher. It was here that she met her future husband, Leo Berns, a teacher there.
After a second year in Rosamond, Ruth resigned to work in Chicago and stay with her sisters. She worked for an insurance broker on Wells St. and taught business classes two nights in the Central YMCA, downtown Chicago. Later Ruth and her sisters moved to Blue Island and Ruth worked as a surgical secretary in Billings Hospital. In the meantime, Leo Berns had gone to the Navy and was stationed in Norfolk and then Newport, RI. He received orders to come to Great Lakes and on February 20, 1943, Ruth and he were married in St. Benedicts in Blue Island. Ruth quit working and their son, John Leo, was born December 4, 1943 in Waukegan. It was while they were here that Frederick James was born, July 10, 1945.
They then moved to Buckley, where they lived in the Methodist parsonage. They lived there two years. When Leo was hired as Superintendent/Principal in Hume, IL, they again moved to Hume. In 1948, Elizabeth Ann was born and right after her birth, they moved to Mt. Zion, where Leo took a job a Principal of the high school there. They lived there five years and then moved to Oconee, IL to a farm they owned. Theresa Marie was born in Mt. Zion on November 3, 1952. Ruth started substituting in schools in 1964, began to teach regularly in Pana Senior High School, where she taught until 1982. In Oconee, Leo farmed 240 acres of his own and rented some other acreage. They did extensive remodeling of the farmhouse and lived there until 1983, when the purchased a home at 201 W. Seventh in Pana, IL and moved there. In 1982, Ruth quit her teaching job at Pana Senior High, where she had taught for 23 years.
Ruth enjoyed reading, writing, quilting, traveling, genealogy researching, knitting, miniatures, and sewing. She was a member of Sacred Heart, St. Pat's, and Blessed Sacrament Parishes; Pana Library Board; Fortnightly Club; Tuesday Club; and American Legion Auxiliary.
Ruth is survived by children: John Berns (wife Char) of Little Falls, MN; Fred Berns of Whitehall, WI; Elizabeth "Libby" Loftus (husband Mike) of Milford, MA; Theresa "Terri" Berns of Springfield, IL; grandchildren: John Berns (wife Margaret) of Minnesota; Colleen Simms (husband) David of Great Britain; Megan Baierlein of California; Jack Loftus, Caitlin Loftus, Moire Loftus of Massachusetts; great -grandchildren: John, Stephen, Maria, Avila, Camille, & Anthony all of Minnesota; Sebastian & Oliver of Great Britain; Archie of California; and another on the way.
Funeral mass will be held Saturday, August 25, 2012 in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Oconee at 10:00 a.m. with Rev. Rodney A. Schwartz officiating. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Oconee. Friends may call on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until service time in the church.
Memorials may be made to the Carnegie-Schuyler Library, 303 E. Second St., Pana, IL 62557 or Ronald McDonald House, 610 N. Seventh St., Springfield, IL 62702.
Merna Vere Ross Bishop (1890 - 1971)
Leo H Berns (1909 - 2003)
Sacred Heart Cemetery
Created by: (Helen) Jean Kennedy
Record added: Feb 20, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 85249538