Dr. Bernard Berner, 94, psychologist, World War II Naval officer
Dr. Bernard Berner of Beacon, N.Y., 94, died May 12, 2012 at Castle Point Veterans Hospital.
Bernard Berner graduated high school at 14, the youngest that year in 1932 in New York City. He entered the Navy in July 1940 as an Apprentice Seaman. By the end of WWII, he had attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He had served as a line officer on a battleship and a heavy cruiser, The USS Tuscaloosa, which took part in the biggest convoy battle of the war in the Arctic Ocean, PQ17. He was then given command of The USS LST 317. He led this ship along campaigns in North Africa and into the invasion of Sicily.
Bernard received many medals while in the service and has also had his war memoirs recently accepted by the Library of Congress.
Thanks to the GI Bill, Bernard got his Master's degree at Columbia University and Doctorate in Counseling Psychology at New York University. Dr. Berner worked for the Veteran's Administration for 31 years. This included 22 years at the Yale University's Medical School, and professional assignments at Southern Connecticut State College and the University of New Haven.
President John F. Kennedy awarded him a citation for his work with the underprivileged and the handicapped. Bernard was also named Man of the Year for this work in New Haven, CT.
Bernard earned an Exempt Certificate for years as a Voluntary Fireman and was a Past President of the Chelsea Fire Company. He also served as Past President of the then Chelsea/Brockway School Board. Dr. Berner also did volunteer work for the VFW and DAV for many years.
During his stay at the VA Castle Point Nursing Home, Bernard served on different committees there until very recently.
Dr. Berner is survived by his beloved and devoted wife of 70 years, Isabelle. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Patricia Barth of Shokan, NY, and Anita and her husband Nicholas Donofrio of Ridgefield, CT, a son Joseph and his wife Karen Berner
of Potsdam, NY, six grandchildren, Terry Hockler, Nicholas Hockler, Michael Donofrio, Nicole Donofrio, Valerie Berner, Jason Berner, and five great-grandchildren, Lauren Hockler, Kristyn Hockler, Nicholas Hockler, Edie Donofrio, and Lena Donofrio.
"Bernie" was a rare, wonderful man who loved his family and friends with a pure, unconditional love. Everyone who knew him loved him in return.
Dr. Berner will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to "Doctors Without Borders" online at https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/ or by sending directly to: Doctors Without Borders USA, 333 Seventh Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10001, Attn: Planned Giving.