True Christian scholar and gentleman, died peacefully November 23, 2012. He was a father devoted to his daughters, Christa and Saskia Beranek; and his son-in-law, David Matheu. He was husband to Andrea (Gibson), bound in spirit and abiding love. He is survived by his cherished sister, Dana Zeck and her husband Steve; by his cousin, Al Beranek; and by his oldest friend, Albert Parker. A faculty member in the English department at Duquesne University, a medievalist, Bernie was a scholar who consumed his books, who read widely and deeply, and who valued the life of the mind. He could recall passages readily and recite them - sometimes words of encouragement, sometimes more difficult truths, but always words that needed to be heard. He was a teacher for whom education was a true vocation. His response to the statement "Those who can't do, teach," is "Those who can teach, must". He loved telling stories and had them for every occasion and, almost guaranteed, told them more than once just to be sure that we got the joke, saw the irony, understood. Often the stories were drawn from his experiences in the US Navy Pacific fleet. Often those stories were memories of his family or friends. Always those stories connected us with him and some rich human experience. Bernie had strong, long lasting friendships. He loved those students and colleagues who found their way to his office to talk about literature or philosophy or history or just something that was puzzling. Then he shared the best parts of himself - his wisdom, questions still to be asked, a story, his books. He thoroughly enjoyed knowing his daughters' friends, puzzled sometimes that they thought he was "cool". In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Frick Fine Arts Library to purchase medieval facsimiles. Checks should be made to University of Pittsburgh with a note reading Beranek Memorial and sent to Julie Seavy Director of Library Advancement, University of Pittsburgh, 271 Hillman Library, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Friends are welcomed at BRUSCO-NAPIER FUNERAL SERVICE, LTD., 2201 Bensonia Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15216, 412-561-6474 on Wednesday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial at Duquesne University Chapel, Thursday, 10 a.m. Burial in National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, with Full Military Honors. Add a tribute at:
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(412) 561-6474

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Nov. 27, 2012