Catholic 05

Leola Agnes Berning

November 1, 1930 ~ September 1, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
Obituary Image

Leola Berning Obituary

Leola A. "Lee" Berning passed peacefully into eternity on September 1, 2023. She was surrounded by her children throughout her final journey home.

Lee was born on November 1, 1930, the third of four daughters born to John and Mamie Peters. She grew up in Abita Springs, Louisiana, and never forgot her Southern charm, graciousness, and helpful heart. After high school, Lee pursued her ambition to become a registered nurse and completed her education and training at Charity Hospital School of Nursing in New Orleans. Lee began her nursing career in San Francisco, accompanied by her sister and fellow nurse Alma Doris.

In San Francisco, Lee became close friends with Anita Berning Cranfield and this led to her introduction to Anne's kid brother Mel. The two were instantly attracted to each other and, following a whirlwind courtship, Lee and Mel married in 1952. For nearly 67 years, they loved, laughed, celebrated, and completed each other in every way. Lee became a mother to five children – John (Ruth), Jim, Leanne, Marti (John), and Sue (Paul). She was blessed to welcome six grandchildren – Michael, Rachel (LaMont), Matthew, Christopher, Emily (Gabe), and Jenna as well as two precious great-granddaughters – Olivia and Harper. Our mom was a treasure to us, a model of selflessness and caring support. She was officially recognized as Eureka's Mother of the Year in 1969. Her children knew it all along! She and Dad had a gift for discerning the unique interests and need for independence of each of their children. Once discovered, Mom and Dad found ways to support and nurture those interests.

A woman ahead of her time, Lee Berning was a model for what came to be known as a working mother. Throughout the years when she was bearing and raising her family, she and Mel shared all of the responsibilities of parenthood. She worked for many years as a nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital as well as in convalescent care homes in the area. In her later years at the Hospital, Lee used her natural gift of communication to serve as a Patient Education Coordinator. She was a gifted speaker and had an impressive vocabulary. She loved to journal about everything from vacations to important life events.

Lee was absolutely dedicated to her Catholic faith, to her family, and to the dignity of human life. All of her energies were directed toward nurturing these values. A parishioner of St. Bernard's for over 60 years, Lee served as a lector, Eucharistic minister to the sick and homebound, and member of the RCIA and Marriage Encounter programs and the Legion of Mary. She and Mel spent many hours developing and participating in the Eucharistic Adoration program at St. Bernards. She was truly a "prayer warrior" – the first to step up and lead the rosary in difficult times. Her faith and her devotion to the Blessed Mother sustained her through to the very end of her life.

After losing Mel in 2019, Lee insisted that she wanted to stay in her home. Her need for independence was very strong and her children worked hard to give her what she wanted. Until the last few days of her life, Lee stayed at home with the loving support of her children and her caregiver Lorraine. At the very end, Mom was taken care of with great love and compassion by the team at St. Joseph's. Lee's children are grateful for the kindness of all the staff.

Lee Berning's life will be celebrated at a funeral mass offered on Thursday, September 21 at St. Bernard's Church in Eureka. The Rosary will be recited at 10:45 am with the funeral following immediately afterward at 11 am. An informal reception will follow in the Parish Hall. Interment at St. Bernards Cemetery will be a private affair for family and a few close friends.

Bye for now, sweet mom. We'll be along in time. Rest easy with Dad.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Leola Agnes Berning?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Leola's memory.


September 21, 2023

10:45 AM
ST Bernard's Catholic Church
615 H St
Eureka, CA 95501

Funeral Mass
September 21, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Bernard s Church (Eureka)


© 2023 Sanders Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility