Ethelyn Berns

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Ethelyn Berns, 90, of Elkader, died Monday, April 18, at the Elkader Care Center. Her funeral service was held Friday, April 22, at St. John Lutheran Church, Farmersburg, with burial at Monona Cemetery. 

Ethelyn was born September 7, 1925, in Wagner Township, Clayton County, to Lester and Esther Kurth. She graduated from Farmersburg High School and Upper Iowa University. She taught elementary grades and art in rural schools and at MFL in Monona for 33 years. 

She was blessed to have two kind and caring husbands. In 1949 she married Harley Herrmann. To this union were born two children. In 1992 she married Larry Berns whose large family added a new aspect to her life. 

She was an active member and held various offices in her church, American Legion Auxiliary, POW organizations, Garden Club, Monona Woman’s Club, Clayton County Artists, teacher’s organizations and Mississippi Red Hatters.

Survivors are her daughter, Linda (Thad) Gavin, Coralville; son, David (Dawn) Herrmann, Thomasville, NC; grandson Zach (Jillian) Herrmann, St. Olaf; and stepchildren Greg Berns, Oelwein, Mary (Dave) Engeltjes, Spirit Lake, Helen (El) Shew, Underwood, Janet Lillie, Eyota, MN, Joanne (Rafe) Koopman, Garnavillo, Colleen (Frank) Lindauer, Longmont, CO, Karen (Larry) Nation, Rochester, MN, Kathy Berns, Louisville, KY, and Jim (Lorraine) Berns, Colorado Springs, CO. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, brother Vernon (Irma) Kurth, and sisters, Barbara Christianson and Karen (Jack) Wright.

Memorials may be directed to St. John Lutheran Church, PO Box 87, Farmersburg, IA 52047. 

Leonard Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left with

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