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John Bernardi - Class Of 1945

A kind and gentle man, John F. Bernardi, died December 10, 2007 at the age of 80 in Arlington Heights, IL.  John was born in Kenosha, WI, and worked 34 years for the American Motors Corporation, attaining the position of Sales Manager for International Export Operations for South America and the Middle East.

After graduating from Kenosha's Bradford High School in 1945, John served for 2 years in the U.S. Army as a tank commander and clerk receiving an honorable discharge with the rank of Sergeant.  John attended Vocational School in Kenosha and Spenserian College in Milwaukee studying technology and business administration in 1948.  John married Gloria Forte (now deceased) in 1950 in Kenosha and had one son during his 23 year marriage.  They lived in Beverly Hills, CA, in 1958/59 where he worked as a Quality Assurance Statistician for Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica before returning to Kenosha.  John had the opportunity to travel for business and pleasure through North and South America as well as Europe and the South Pacific.

John lived in and cared for the Kenosha uptown home that had been in the Bernardi family for nearly 100 years.  He was a member of the Uptown Business and Industrial Development District, the American Society of Quality Control and the UAW.  He worked part-time for the Kenosha Police Department, Schmidt Security and for S.C. Johnson at Wing Spread in Racine.  John was an eclectic art collector. For nearly 20 years, John was the loving caregiver for his parents, Frank John Bernardi and Adeline Ruffalo Bernardi, who both lived into their 90's and preceded him in death.  After his heart surgery in 2006, John moved to his son's home in Prospect Heights, IL.

John leaves behind his son, Richard, and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, and his three grandchildren, Kate Knight (and her husband, Dave), Charles Bernardi and Nick Bernardi.

Funeral services were held on December 15, 2007 at the Proko Funeral Home.  Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, followed by interment in St. James Cemetery.