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Karl Alfred Berna
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Birth: Dec. 30, 1923
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Dec. 29, 2009
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA

Karl A. Berna, age 85, late of the East Side. Beloved husband of Manetta Berna (nee Flood). Loving father of Karl D. (Peggy) Berna, Jerry E. (Beverly) Berna, Robert O. (Connie) Berna, Renee (Shorty) Corman and James A. (Lana) Berna. Devoted grandfather and great grandfather of many. Dear brother of Carolyn (Tex) Glomb, Paul Berna, late Bill (Betty) Berna, late Eugene Berna and late Helen (late Carol) Copeland. Fond uncle of many nieces and nephews. Mr. Berna was a U.S. Navy veteran who served from 1942 to 1952 as an Electrician's Mate in both WWII and the Korean War. He was a retired employee of Illinois Bell Phone Co. after 36 years of service, a lifetime member of the American Legion, Master Mason for 50 years, member of Triluminar Lodge No. 767 (whose members will have a service Sunday at 6:00 p.m.) and lifetime member of the Illinois Live Steamers. Visitation Sunday, January 3, 2010 from 1:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral services Monday, January 4, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at Elmwood Chapel, 11200 S. Ewing Ave., Chicago, IL. Cemetery private. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Multiple Sclerosis Association would be appreciated. 773-731-2749

The following tribute was written by George Dean, the editor of ILS Stacks and Tracks, and appeared in the May 2010 issue.

Karl Berna:

On December 29th, 2009, we lost Karl Berna, a member of the ILS since 1987. Karl had a great love for trains and was always ready to pitch in and work on track. He was a regular member of the Wednesday crew and was often the "spark" needed to get the other fellows moving on a project. When not aligning or ballasting track, he would often be seen polishing the rails with his "little gasser". He promoted the ILS and the large scale railroading hobby at every opportunity. In fact, our corresponding secretary, Chuck Olejniczak, was introduced to the ILS by Karl. Karl was also ready to give a young person a ride and even let them try their hand with the throttle in the circle.

Karl's prize possession was his Disney 4-4-0 America Locomotive. Karl was the fifth owner of this engine and actually the one who finally completed the engine that was built from original Walt Disney castings. As is often the case with a steam engine, the prior owners were overwhelmed with the amount of work required to complete a steam locomotive and lost interest. Karl acquired the partially completed engine in 1986 and had the engine running on air in 1996. The first steam-up occurred in 1998 and it was running on the ILS track in 1999. The accompanying photo from the ILS archives shows Karl riding with John Bertino who was serving as the engineer.

One of the more exciting runs of this engine occurred when Karl's wife, Manetta was driving the engine in the 1 1/2" circle. All was going well until the engine ran over a large walnut which jarred the propane burner loose. The result was a column of flame that roared up between the engine cab and tender. Manetta jumped off the engine and John Bertino quickly shut off the gas supply. Karl, without any emotion, asked his wife what did she do to the locomotive? This incident reminds the editor of the comment made by Bob Keding on Page 1 regarding one of the reasons live steamers are seldom seen smiling when driving their locomotives. As Bob put it, the "picture of a 300 degree fire between your legs" demands concentration! We all miss Karl, his love of the hobby, his years of hard work and a great sense of humor.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Victor William Berna (1892 - 1968)
  Margaret Leah Berna (1896 - 1976)
 
 Siblings:
  Eugene Robert Berna (1915 - 1986)*
  Helen Urlicka Berna Copeland (1922 - 2004)*
  Karl Alfred Berna (1923 - 2009)
  William Victor Berna (1929 - 2000)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
"Together Forever"
 
Burial:
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery
Elwood
Will County
Illinois, USA
Plot: C5-90 Row D Site 9
 
Maintained by: berna5
Originally Created by: J. Edward Ross
Record added: Jul 12, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54837251
Karl Alfred Berna
Added by: berna5
 
Karl Alfred Berna
Added by: J. Edward Ross
 
Karl Alfred Berna
Added by: berna5
 
 
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Shine in Heaven as you shone on earth for your loved ones. A brave man indeed.
- Susan Edwards
 Added: Jan. 31, 2011
Thank you for your service to our country, Grandpa.
- berna5
 Added: Jan. 17, 2011
 
 
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