Thomas P. Berning

Thomas P. Berning, age 41, of Dubuque, Iowa, completed his earthly journey on October 29, 2020, at home, due to heart failure.  To honor Tom’s life, a private family service is being held.  The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving Tom’s family.


Tom was born on December 17, 1978, in Dubuque, Iowa, a son to Thomas J. and Dianne L. (Mohr) Berning.  He grew up embracing his free-spirit and was very proud of becoming an Eagle Scout as he ventured into adulthood.  Tom spent his working hours in food service primarily and was always the big guy behind the counter, or at the window. With an even bigger smile, he found opportunities to share his love for life with those around him.  He also knew how to relax though, and when the workday was done, you could easily find him vigorously cheering on his Bear’s and Cubbies whenever they were playing.  His gentle and friendly demeanor was always on display and Tom made friends very easily wherever he went.  His affinity for real big and sincere hugs, both given and received, will thankfully now be able to provide some healing in the hearts and minds of all who knew and loved him as they can embrace the memories of their last one’s moving forward.  Tom’s sudden absence from our lives is quite a bit more than we can honestly handle, but we trust that his daughters, Kaitlyn and Crystal, will carry on his love of life.  Thank you, Tom, for showing us that life isn’t always as we would wish, but adding a little fun into the mix from time to time can surely ease the ride.  We will treasure every wonderful memory you leave behind, and may you find the peace you so deserve as you keep them all smiling up there until we meet again.   


Those left behind to cherish the memory of Thomas include,


his loving parents,

Tom and Dianne Berning, East Dubuque, Illinois.


his 2 daughters,

Kaitlyn Marie Degenhardt, Dubuque, Iowa,

and Crystal Anne Berning, Platteville, Wisconsin.


his granddaughter,

Raelynn Jo, Dubuque, Iowa.


his grandmother,

Colleen Mohr, East Dubuque, Illinois.


his aunts and uncles,

DeEtta (Tom) Jackoniski, East Dubuque, Illinois,

Dennis (Cathy) Mohr, Kieler, Wisconsin,

Dawn (Slim) Stelpflug, East Dubuque, Illinois,

Donita (Ronnie) Shireman, East Dubuque, Illinois, (Godmother)

Debbie (Mike McGovern) Redmon, East Dubuque, Illinois,

David Mohr, East Dubuque, Illinois,

Doug Mohr, Dubuque, Iowa,

Dolly (Jamie) Kuhle, Venice, Florida,

Joyce Berning, Mineral Point, Wisconsin

Wayne Berning, Hazel Green, Wisconsin,

Gary (Deb) Berning, East Dubuque, Illinois,

Gene Berning, Hazel Green, Wisconsin,

Joan (Ken) McDonough, Florida,

Judy (Kevin) Haverland, Cuba City, Wisconsin,

Jane Berning, Sherrill, Iowa,

Jackie (Dan) Larson, East Dubuque, Illinois,

Carl Berning, Dodgeville, Wisconsin,

Mary Berning, Coloma, Wisconsin

and Joyce (Tim) Dunbar, East Dubuque, Illinois.


along with countless extended family, friends, and neighbors.


Tom was preceded in death by his grandparents, Wes Mohr, Harold and Mary Berning; and his uncles, Darrel Mohr and Dave Berning (Godfather). 


Tom’s family would like to thank all our family and friends for their outpouring of love, concern, and compassion.  Our hearts are beyond broken today, but just knowing that you’re all there to help hold the pieces in place until some healing can begin is a blessing greater than you could know.


Online condolences may be shared with Tom’s family at


To honor Tom’s life, a private family service is being held.

11 comments on “Thomas P. Berning
  1. Dawn n Slim says:

    Our hearts are so broken knowing that such a young loving heart has left us far too early in his life. We will miss the little chats, catching up on life, and that Big Hug that always came along with it! You will be so sadly missed. My deepest sympathy to Tom, Dianne, Katlyn, Raelynn, and Crystal. May you Rest in Peace and keep an eye on your family and the next time I have chest pain, I’ll know I’m getting one of those bear hugs! You will be forever in our hearts! Love ya!

    • Dianne Berning says:

      Thank you Dawn and Slim. I’m going to miss those chats and hugs too. I guess I will have to start thinking differently about my chest pain. He must be hugging me awfully tight cause the pain is heavy. Thank you for our chats too, Dawn.

  2. Erica says:

    My heart broke when Abby told me Tommy passed. Tommy always new how to chear someone up. He was also the one someone could run to, to get that get to make things seem better at the moment. I’m so sorry for your loss. I will keep all his family in my prayers. Tommy will forever be someone I won’t forget.

  3. Eddy says:

    I first met Tom 25 years ago when we were sophomores in high school. We had a a lot of fun doing a lot of crazy stuff. My heart goes out to his parents and 2 daughters. At least he got to meet and hold his grandchild. I will miss him more than words can be said. I wish eternal peace and Godspeed.

    • Dianne Berning says:

      You two did do a lot of crazy stuff and here we thought you were a good influence on him. You know I tease, I can see your smile right now. Thank you for being such a good friend, thanks to both of you boys. Tom and I will always hold you two in our hearts.

  4. Becky Kienzle says:

    Tom…you were a great friend to my sons…they always had a good time with you around…you were also their only friend to ever attend one of our family weddings…we all had a great time…Rest in peace…Your family has the best Angel ever to watch over them…and Heaven will never be the same…huggz…B…

    • Dianne Berning says:

      Thanks Becky. Your sons are wonderful young men. They stopped at our house a couple of weeks ago. We always enjoy seeing them. Pictures of the kids were shown to us, old times were discussed and we heard about their current lives. Such a nice visit.

  5. Marissa Davis says:

    I will truly miss you so much u always knew how to make me smile and laugh no matter how upset I was or mad I was and u would give me the most biggest warmest hug ever. I will always miss seeing you and you saying hey gurl hey you were a Legend in my eye i will never stop listening to your faviorite song legendary by skillet i love you and till we see each other again. Also so sorry for all of the families loss just know he is looking down saying smile its ok say a joke give a hug have fun dont be sad because then he will be sad. I wish I could give all the family members a big hug and a laugh for him. May he always be with you in spirit..

  6. Tom and Karlyn Van Gelder says:

    Dear Diane and Tom,
    Karlyn and I are very saddened to hear of young Tom’s passing. Gosh, 41 years old! Both of you and Tom are in our prayers every day. May you be comforted by the Holy Spirit in the coming weeks.
    Nathan sends his condolences as well.

    God bless you in this hour,
    Tom & Karlyn

  7. David Engler says:

    God bless and Rest In Peace my neighbor and friend.

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