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February 13, 1945 – August 6, 2022

John Leon Berning, 77, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 6, at his St. Michael home.

John was born in Minneapolis, Mn. on February 13, 1945, to Everett and Loretta Berning. He graduated from St. Michael Catholic High School in 1963 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he worked in shipping and receiving on the U.S.S. Saratoga. After two years of service, he reunited with classmate and love of his life Carmen Dahlheimer. They married on September 30th,  1967 in Dayton, MN, and were lifelong companions in a marriage that lasted over 54 years until his passing. John and Carmen’s marriage was blessed with two children, Cary and Scott, and they raised them at their home in St. Michael, John’s favorite place on earth. He was a man of deep faith and was a lifelong dedicated parishioner of St. Michael Catholic Church.

John was an ironworker by trade and a proud lifelong member of Iron Workers Local 512. He spent his entire career working for L.H. Sowles Company of Minneapolis.

John was passionate about many things. First and foremost was his family. He cherished his time with Carmen, Cary and Kim, Scott and Becky, and absolutely adored his grandchildren Paige and Kal, Lane, Kalley and great-granddaughter Rhea. He made it a point to talk to them often, and followed their schooling, sports, and work activities closely, just as he did with his own children.

John was an avid outdoorsman, and in the fall could always be found at his deer stand or favorite duck slough. He was a lifelong member of the Crow River Sportsmen’s Club, committee member for the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited, and a proud member of many other outdoor organizations and gun clubs. His favorite activities were hunting mallards and fishing walleyes, especially on the Crow River, which was a lifelong place of extreme serenity for him.

John spent almost 40 years as proprietor of John Berning Sports, operating within the shooting sports industry.  It was in trapshooting where he found his recreational passion. He started as a strong competitor in trapshooting, then started his business and grew it to service countless gun clubs and shooters in the five-state and surrounding area. Gun clubs were his home away from home, and his business partners and trap shooters were his family away from home. John did business his way.  That was with fairness, honesty, handshakes, and in humble fashion. His customers knew he never wavered from them principles.  He was fond of youth shooting sports and was a generous sponsor of many youth shooting organizations.

He will be dearly missed by many!

John is preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Loretta Berning, and infant sister Barbara.  He is survived by his wife Carmen, sons Cary (Kim Finch), Scott (Becky), grandchildren Paige (Kal) Dehmer, Lane, Kalley, great-granddaughter Rhea, brother Ralph (Sharry) Berning, nephews Dennis (Sue), Tobey (Jennifer), Brandon (Tierney) and niece Tamra (Jamie) Dietman.

A Mass of Christian Burial for John Berning will be held on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael.

Interment with military rites will follow at The St. Michael Cemetery.

A visitation will be held on Monday, August 15th AT THE CHURCH from 4-8 P.M. , with a Eulogy at 7:30 P.M. and prayer service at 7:45 P.M.   Further visitation will be held on Tuesday morning, August 16th one hour prior to Mass at the church.

Honorary Casket Bearers will be Rhea Dehmer, Ronald Peloquin and Joseph Psyk.

Casket Bearers will be Paige Dehmer, Kal Dehmer, Lane Berning, Kalley Berning, Dennis Berning, Tobey Berning, Brandon Berning and Alex Steffens.



4 Guestbook Entries

  1. Dan Duggan

    I’m so sorry to hear of John’s passing. I have fond memories of working for him as a clay pigeon setter at the Sportsman Club, and from visiting the family often, in my youth. John was always kind to me, and I had much respect for him. My sympathy is with you Carmen, Cary, Scott, and family!

  2. Judy Valerius

    John was a good man.

    I pray that your memories will be a blessing to you all in the coming times .

  3. Tom and Melodie Kotarski

    Carmen, Cary and Scott, John was a Great man and I’m proud to say a Great Friend! He was an “All American” in so many ways. He will be fondly missed by all who knew him!
    Our Deepest Condolences- Tom and Melodie

  4. Melissa Fehn Handy

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you all.


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