Bill Berner, longtime history teacher, coach and tennis player, died on January 3, 2014, after a long illness. He passed away peacefully at Pomerado Hospital with loved ones by his side, including his wife Ellie and children Gary and Carolyn. He was 87. He was born May 26, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York, to Nathan and Pauline Berner. |
Bill served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and graduated as a history major from the University of Virginia, where he was an all-star catcher for the baseball team. Bill earned his Master's degree in physical education from New York University and went on to pursue a career as a public school teacher and coach. He taught history and coached basketball for 35 years in the Lakeland School District in New York and coached tennis at Pace University in Pleasantville, New York. Bill and Ellie raised their family in Briarcliff Manor, NY, where they lived for 25 years before retiring to San Diego in 1983.
After moving west, Bill continued to pursue his love of tennis, playing senior matches at the Rancho Bernardo Swim and Tennis Club. He also coached women's basketball at Mesa College in San Diego. Throughout his long athletic and teaching career, Bill instilled in his family and students a love of sports and the subject of history and current events. His children were his favorite tennis partners. Bill won many doubles matches and tournaments with Ellie, Gary and Carolyn. He was regarded with great respect not only for his tennis prowess but also for his demeanor both on and off the court.
His survivors include his immediate family, wife, Ellie (whom he proposed to after the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series in 1955); his son, Gary and daughter-in-law, Anne, and their children, Claire and Jack; daughter, Carolyn Berner and son-in-law, Dan Tobin and their children, Julia and Nathan; his brother, Bob in Florida; and sister-in-law, Shirley Harrison and her children, Janice, Richard, Kenny and Dee, and their families. He will be missed by his family and friends and students who knew and learned from him.
A donation in Bill Berner's name may be made to the international medical humanitarian organization
, www.doctorswithoutborders.org, or call 888-392-0392.
Published in the Pomerado News on Jan. 16, 2014