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Berna Deane Benter
October 2, 1926 - December 18, 2022

Berna Deane Benter, 96, of Oelwein passed away Sunday December 18, 2022.  PUBLIC Visitation will be from 10:00 AM-11:00 AM on Thursday December 29, 2022 at the Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home in Oelwein.  PRIVATE Funeral Services will then follow at the funeral home with interment in Floral Hills Memorial Gardens at Hazleton.  A memorial fund has been established. 

Berna Deane was born October 2, 1926 in Lamont, the daughter of James and Bessie (Mason) Murray.  She attended Lamont Public School and graduated with the class of 1944.  In High School she was a Cheerleader for girls basketball.  Berna Deane was with the team and went to State to cheerlead at the Drake Field House in 1944.  After graduation she went to Estes Park, Colorado to spend a summer with a friend working at a restaurant waitressing.  She returned to Iowa to start a job with Rath Packing Plant in Waterloo to work in the ordering department and the vault for several years.

On June 24, 1947 (her mother’s birthday) she was united in marriage with Harold Benter at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hawkeye.

Berna Deane worked at Mercy Hospital in Oelwein for 23 years.  She started in the dietary department and eventually became the office manager.  She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Oelwein.  While raising her children she was a Sunday School teacher, a Bible School teacher, helped with confirmation classes and wrote the council news for the newspaper.  She was also Secretary for the Church Circle, President of Southside School PTA and a Boy Scout Leader.

Following retirement, Berna Deane and Harold spent winter months in Mesa, AZ.  They loved playing cards, fishing, dancing and watching all sports-especially the Iowa Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs.  Berna Deane was a devoted “Days Of Our Lives” soap opera watcher.

Berna Deane and Harold loved traveling.  Some of their cherished travels included Hawaii, New York, Philadelphia, Nashville, Boston, a Caribbean cruise and countless trips to Las Vegas in a 1960 Ford.

Concerts were also among their many travels, seeing Elvis Presley in Minneapolis and Johnny Cash twice-once in his younger years in Cedar Rapids and again later in Waterloo with the Statler Brothers and June Carter.

Berna Deane was called “Betty Crocker” by her children.  She was known to make a mean macaroni and cheese, potato salad and blueberry muffins she once forgot to add the berries to!

Berna Deane loved spending time with her family and those left to celebrate her life are her children: Russell (Diane) Benter of Oelwein, Carolyn (Steve) Coselman of Marion, Dean (Linda) Benter of Oelwein and Debra (James) Baskerville of Marshalltown; her twelve grandchildren; her three step-grandchildren; her eighteen great-grandchildren; her ten step-great-grandchildren; and her many nieces and nephews.

In death, Berna Deane rejoins her husband Harold; her infant son Richard; her parents James and Bessie Murray; her sisters: Ila Helms and Arlene Phillips; her brothers: Dale, Rollin, Arlo, Milo, Dwight, Don Murray and all their spouses; her brother-in-law and sister-in-law Leonard and Betty Benter; her father-in-law and mother-in-law George and Lillian Benter; and good friends George and Marjorie Allison.

Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home

309 1st Avenue NE  |  Oelwein, IA  50662  |  Phone:  319.283.4653

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