July 24, 1968 – August 14, 2023
August 14, 2023, David Donald Berns, 55, passed away of cardiac arrest at his home in Fort Mill, SC. His beloved wife of 24 years, Caroline (Faust) Berns and daughter, Natalie, were at his side. He is survived by two children, Nicholas Berns, age 20 and Natalie Berns, age 16.
David was the second of two children, born on July 24, 1968 in Kenosha, WI. After he and his family moved to Silver Lake, WI, he attended Wilmot High School and graduated in 1986. Having an early passion for teaching, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Broad Field Social Science from UW-Stevens Point, WI in 1991. Immediately following graduation, David joined the Peace Corps and was stationed in Belize for two years, serving as a curriculum consultant to local teachers located in isolated and underserved communities. Upon his return to the United States, David taught Economics, Political Science, Social Problems, Law & You, and US History at Germantown High School for 11 years. During that time, David earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UW-Milwaukee, WI.
David and Caroline were married in 1999 in Milwaukee, living in Wauwatosa and Germantown, later moving to Plover, WI. While there, he taught Economics, Advanced Placement (AP) Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, and US History at Wausau West High School. In 2011, they moved to Fort Mill, SC with their two children. Joining the faculty of one of the best high schools in the state, Nation Ford High School, his teaching assignments included Honors level Government and Economics classes as well as AP Micro and Macroeconomics.
As a key member of the high school educational community, David was active as an extracurricular co-advisor for the Wausau West Key Club and as the Homecoming co-advisor. David also served as the Social Studies Department chairperson at Wausau West High School. In addition to his teaching duties, David worked as an AP Macroeconomics reader for the College Board each summer and served as the faculty advisor for Nation Ford’s Young Democrats and Young Republicans clubs. While teaching at Nation Ford, he was heavily involved in many student events and activities including athletics, academics, theatre, chorus and band. In March, 2011, David was awarded Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin Council for Social Studies (WCSS).
In his private life, David was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), serving as Chapter Secretary. In addition, he also actively supported the Boy Scouts of America organization in various leadership positions throughout the years, successfully encouraging his son, Nick to earn the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award at 16 years old. He also led his daughter, Natalie’s girls’ basketball team to a Youth Rec championship win.
One of his hobbies included experimenting with home brewing with his neighbors, enjoying the beer he made while enthusiastically supporting his home team, the Green Bay Packers. He strived to be a Grill Master and posted an “Eating Economics” video series on social media combining both grilling and educational tips for his students in a fun and entertaining way.
David and Caroline greatly enjoyed traveling together which included trips to Quebec, Scotland, and Mexico, along with many domestic locations. They also enjoyed cooking and date night cribbage challenges.
David’s passion was learning, teaching, and knowledge. With the thousands of lives that he touched, he excelled in accepting the challenge of shaping young people, helping to turn them into responsible adults. His sense of humor, fun, and gratitude for life resonated throughout all those who knew him. Above all, David was an incredible loving, supportive, and caring husband and father.
He will be deeply missed by those he left behind including his wife, Caroline; children, Nick and Natalie Berns; mother, Linda Berns; sister, DeAnn (Berns) Umland; nephews, Nathan and Alex Umland; mother-in-law, Carol Faust; and brother-in-law, Joe Faust. We are comforted to know he will join his father, Don Berns (previously deceased), and will be placed in the loving hands of God forevermore.
Funeral Mass for David will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, August 26, 2023 at Stella Maris Parish—Fish Creek site with Fr. Thomas Farrell officiating.
Visitation for family and friends will be from 9:00 a.m. until the Mass at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Burial to follow in St. Rosalia’s Cemetery, Sister Bay.
A Celebration of David’s Life will also be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 6:00 pm at Nation Ford High School, 1400 A O Jones Blvd, Fort Mill, SC 29715.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: NSSAR Colonel William Bratton with David Berns Fund in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Colonel William Bratton Chapter, 121 Pelham Ln, Fort Mill, SC 29715, a fund set up by a local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Huehns Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay is assisting the Berns family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of David may be shared with his family through his tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.