Joan McHale Berners, age 80, of South Bend, IN, died Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010, in her home, surrounded by her husband and all of her children and grandchildren.
Joan was born Dec. 18, 1930, to Patrick H. and Clare C. (Janson) McHale in Waverly.
She attended St. Mary’s grade school and high school in Waverly, and graduated from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul in 1951, with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
Joan spent three years as a medical technologist in hospitals in St. Paul and San Francisco.
She returned to the Midwest to enter the Marquette University medical school, but after one year of supporting herself while in medical school, she decided to study biochemistry.After completing a master’s degree in biochemistry at Marquette University, she joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Joan married Edgar D. Berners Aug. 6, 1960, in St. Mary’s Church in Waverly.
After teaching for one more year, she became a full-time homemaker.
Joan is survived by her husband of 50 years, Edgar; her children, John (Tamara) Berners of Greenwood, IN, Ann (Kurt) Lynn of Lake St. Louis, MO, Catherine (Stanley) Ochs of Cincinnati, OH, and David Berners of San Jose, CA; grandchildren Carlynn and Benjamin Berners; Kristie, Sheila, Samantha and Aaron Lynn; and Kristen, Carl and Brendan Ochs; and a brother, John P. (Jack) McHale of St. Anthony.
A sister, Ann McHale, preceded her in death.
Joan was a past president of the Stanley Clark School Parent-Faculty Association, and a past member of that school’s board of trustees.
She did volunteer work for the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend, and also worked in the St. Matthew Cathedral funeral luncheon program.
While her children were enrolled at Riley High School, she contributed many hours of volunteer work in support of the Riley marching band activities.In other years, she volunteered at the Tutt branch of the St. Joseph County Public Library.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 30 at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend. Burial followed in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame, IN.
Visitation was Wednesday, Dec. 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Kaniewski Funeral Home in South Bend, IN, with a parish rosary at 4:30 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, 3408 Ardmore Trail, LaSalle Square, South Bend, IN 46628.
To send condolences online, visit the website, Kaniewski.com.