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Darlene Justine Bernhard

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article


June 19, 1932 - March 1, 2023


A Funeral Mass for Darlene Bernhard, 90, of Britt, was held Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at 11 a.m. at Divine Mercy Parish - St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Algona. Burial took place at the St. Benedict Catholic Cemetery. Visitation was from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Bishop Garrigan Chapel in Algona. Memorial contributions may be directed to Bishop Garrigan Scholarships at 1224 N McCoy St., Algona, IA 50511.

Darlene Justine Bernhard, the daughter of C.K. “Connie” and Susie (Altman) Kohlhaas, was born June 19, 1932, on the family farm north of Livermore. She graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School in 1950, then attended lowa State University for one year. In her youth, Darlene enjoyed playing piano and sewing. She was also active in 4-H, which is how she met her husband.

Darlene married David Bernhard on Sept. 12, 1951. Following Dave’s military service, they lived on two different farms in the St. Joe area, where they began raising their five children. In 1963, they purchased a farm in St. Benedict, where they lived for 51 years. In 2015 they moved to a senior living community in Britt. They were happily married for 69 years.

In addition to raising her children, Darlene was active in the community. As a long-time member of St. Benedict Catholic Church, Darlene volunteered in many ways, including creating the parish centennial book. For many years, Darlene served as a 4-H club leader and belonged to a golf league, card clubs and several quilt groups.

Darlene had many interests and hobbies. She had a passion for sewing and creating beautiful garments and quilts, which she exhibited at local fairs (with some competitive success), gave as gifts, or donated to charities. She was also an avid gardener, maintaining a beautiful, large flower bed and vegetable garden. She was known as an excellent cook and baker. Darlene was a devout Catholic; her rosary was always close and she made time to pray each day.

Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite times were the many trips to visit family, playing card and board games with children and grandchildren, attending quilt retreats, seeing different cities and going fishing with Dave.

Darlene is survived by her children, Robert Bernhard and his wife, Deb, of South Bend, Ind., Kathy O’Neil and her husband, Mike, of New Brighton, Minn., Steve Bernhard and his wife, Dawn, of Algona, and Becca Mattson of Sacramento, Calif.; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Also surviving are her brother, Rich Kohlhaas of Algona, sisters-in-law, Mary Goche and husband, Bill, of Fairmont, Minn., and Marilyn Bernhard of Bancroft, along with many nieces and nephews.

Darlene was preceded in death by her husband, Dave, and son, Daniel; son-in-law, Randy Mattson; her parents, Connie and Susie Kohlhaas; her brother, Art (and wife, Eleanor); her young siblings, Donald and Mary Evelyn; sisters-in-law, Irene, Dottie and Mary Jo Kohlhaas; her mother and father-in-law, Maurice and Ella Bernhard; brothers-in-law, Paul (and wife, Ersel), Phil (and wife Patty), Mark (and wife Barbara), and Bill Bernhard; and several nieces and nephews.

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