Edna Berner died Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Rockford, Ill. She was 88.
Edna was born Edna Caroline Blackburn in the Bronx, N.Y. on August 31, 1924; she was the daughter of Richard Alexander Blackburn and Harriet Webb Blackburn. Through her mother’s side, Edna’s family is descendant from some of the earliest English settlers of Martha’s Vineyard. Some of her fondest memories were the times that she spent on Martha’s Vineyard as a child and young adult. She always kept track of happenings on Martha’s Vineyard through her subscription to the Vineyard Gazette.
Edna married William (Bill) Berner on June 10, 1956, in Forest Hills, N.Y., when she became Edna Ruth Berner. Edna and Bill resided together on Long Island, N.Y., and, after Bill’s retirement from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, they moved to Pompano Beach, Fla. The Berners were happily married for many years until Bill’s death in 1984, after which Edna moved to Augusta, Ga. and then to Rockford, Ill. to be closer to family. She proudly served as great aunt and surrogate grandmother to her grandnieces and grandnephews, who often called her “Ennie.”
Edna is survived by her nieces, Lea Blackburn Halsey of Rockford, Ill., Janice Blackburn Soule of Augusta, Ga. and Christine Blackburn-Campo of Binghamton, N.Y., and by grandnieces and grandnephews Anthea Halsey of Dallas, Tex., Theron Halsey of the U.S. Navy, Melissa Soule Garlington of Augusta, Ga., Kathryn Soule Freemon of Augusta, Ga. and Matthew Campo of Binghamton, N.Y.
Memorial services will be held at a later date on Martha’s Vineyard Island, where Edna’s and her beloved Bill’s ashes will be spread off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard near Menemsha.