Born: May 12, 1937 - Deceased: August 12, 2022
Janice “Jan” C. Berner, nee Mayfield, 85, born May 12, 1937 to Clara N. (Smith) and Walter J. Mayfield in Deepwater, Missouri. Her Lord and Savior Jesus escorted Jan into Heaven on August 12, 2022.
She was preceded in death by her:
She is survived by her:
Jan graduated from Deepwater High School in 1955 and then from Central Missouri University with a B.S. degree in Business Education in 1959. She then graduated from University of Illinois with a M.S. degree in Business Education in 1972. She took 2 years of Sign Language classes at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC).
Jan taught at Trico Community School, Campbell Hill, Illinois in 1959-1960; Belleville High School West 1962-1965; Belleville Area College for 17 years part-time. She taught home-bound students for District 201 and also taught business classes in the Manpower program for SIU in Edwardsville for one year. She finished her teaching career at Mascoutah High School from 1978-2000 where she retired.
In her retirement she was a busy lady! She interpreted for the deaf at Meadow Heights Baptist Church, taught bible study in the home of a deaf family; member of a bowling team, played golf, loved to knit, dance, travel and read. She traveled to many countries and the US and enjoyed many cruises! She lived a full life!
Jan accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior at an early age and made a new commitment at the age of 16. She was a member of Villa Hills Baptist Church for many years. She was a member of St. Matthew United Methodist Church where she sang alto in the choir. She was a member of Meadow Heights Baptist Church as an interpreter for the deaf, taught Sunday school class for the deaf. She also worked in Matamoras Children’s Home in Matamoras, Mexico on mission trips.
Jan started taking sign languages classes in 1996 followed by two years at SWIC to study formal classes in sign language and deaf culture. She interpreted for a young boy at New Baden Methodist Church for one year and for many years was the interpreter for the deaf at Meadow Heights Baptist Church. She loved being a vessel for Christ!
Jan grew up in a small town in Missouri in a family of three children and a mother. Her father, James Walter Mayfield died six weeks before she was born in May 1937. Her father died of bleeding ulcers in a Kansas City hospital. Her mother, Clara Mayfield,was a loving and hard working woman who made herself available to her children all her life. She was there when Jan needed her and they shared many times of talking while drinking coffee. Her mother lived in Deepwater, Missouri and Jan in Belleville, Illinois so on Saturday mornings at 9:00 am they had their time to talk. Jan patterned her life with her children after the loving relationship she had with her mother.
Jan attended a school with all 12 grades in one location. She graduated from the eight grade as Salutatorian and from high school as a Valedictorian. She attended college at Central Missouri State College and was third in her graduating class. Her major was Business Education with a minor in English. She married in 1958 to Lyle Henkel and moved to Campbell Hill, Illinois where she taught for one semester, then retire to have a son, Mark in 1960. She moved to Belleville early in the 1960s.
Jan worked at Scott AFB for several years and then was hired by Belleville Township High School West to teach. She taught there till in 1965 when her daughter Tami was born. After that she taught home-bound students part-time at Belleville Area College and one year in the Man Power Program for SIU-Edwardsville. In 1969 she had her second daughter, Tierney. She taught part-time till Tierney was in the 3rd grade. Jan started back to college at University of Illinois and graduated 3rd in her class with a Masters’ Degree in Business Education. She taught at Mascoutah High School and retired in 2000 after 22 years there. Teaching was a wonderful vocation as she loved the teenagers she was privileged to teach.
She married Earl Struense and had five wonderful years with him until his death in 1997. They spent a lot of their time traveling, swing dance and ballroom dance at the Moose. Although never planning on marrying again after being a widow for nine years, God blessed Jan again when she met Tim Berner and was married in May 2006. They had a wonderful marriage until her death! He was an extraordinary man who was by her side till her last breath!
Jan always tried to be available to her children and grandchildren by helping them out. She was always there to help them move into new homes or just talk on the phone at any hour of the day or night. She became a master at texting her grandchildren even on her daily walks outside or in the St. Clair mall.
Jan always said, ”I have tried to live my life for my Lord and Savior and to be an example to my children and grandchildren. I hope I have succeeded…”
She was a beautiful example of trusting Jesus in every aspect of her life as all her children and grandchildren are saved and believers in Christ. They will see her one day in heaven! She will be missed but that smile will remain in our hearts forever!
Visitation: Visitation from 10:00 am – 10:30 am on Friday, September 23, 2022 at St. Matthews UMC, 1200 Moreland Drive, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: Memorial service will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, September 23, 2022 at St. Matthews UMC, with Rev Bob Swickard officiating. Interment will follow at Valhalla Gardens of Memory, Belleville, IL.