Koleta Berning, 68, of Ames, Iowa, passed away surrounded by her family on October 1, 2021, in the comfort of her home.
Koleta was born January 18, 1953, in West Virginia to Bruce and Phyllis Ferrell. Her family relocated to Iowa when she was one year old. She was joined in life by her brother, Allen and sister, Krista. An excellent student, Koleta graduated from Clinton Senior High School in 1971 as Salutatorian of her class. She continued her studies at Mount St. Clair College, the University of Northern Iowa, and Iowa State University. At ISU she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in history. While at UNI, Koleta met the love of her life, Don, attending a dorm exchange between her floor at UNI and his at ISU. They were married on May 24, 1975 and spent 46 wonderful years together.
Koleta was involved in church. In high school she participated in The Order of the Rainbow affiliated with Zion Lutheran Church, reaching the status of Worthy Advisor during her senior year. As an adult she served as a liturgical minister reading for Sunday services at Ascension Lutheran Church in Ames.
Koleta was a prolific reader. If her nose wasn't in a book enjoying a good sci-fi or fantasy novel, she could be found reading bedtime stories with her children. An avid science fiction fan, Koleta along with Don, fell in love with Star Trek and the multitude of related spin-off shows.
On weekends, she loved solving the NY Times Crossword Puzzle, often laughing at the puzzle's inside jokes. She enjoyed watching the game show Jeopardy, frequently amazing her family by knowing all the answers and in later years, Wheel of Fortune.
A history buff, Koleta tormented her family many times with her need to read any and every stone/plaque/signs. During a trip to the east coast for her sister Krista's wedding, we often quipped that there were no rocks left unread.
She was a forever fan of the Beatles, often singing along in the car or to the record player. Koleta often recounted attending their concert at Soldier Field. She passed her love of the Fab Four onto her children and grandchildren.
Koleta's famous pumpkin bread was a frequently requested staple at family gatherings and bake sales.
Most of all, Koleta was a loving mother, grandmother, and devoted wife. She enjoyed spending time with her family attending countless concerts, sporting events, and holiday gatherings, no matter her limitations. Some of her most favorite times were visiting with her grandchildren, her expressive eyes lighting up whenever they were in the room.
Koleta was preceded in death by her father Bruce, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
She is survived by her husband Don; children Robyn (Aaron), Megan (Ryan) and Greg (Amber); grandchildren Noah, Avery, Charlotte and Tyler; mother Phyllis, brother Allen (Charlotte) and sister Krista (James).
Koleta's celebration of life will be held November 6th, 2021, at 10 a.m., at Ascension Lutheran Church, 2400 Bloomington Rd., Ames, IA 50010 with Pastor Roger Twito officiating. For those unable to attend in person, the service will be livestreamed at https://facebook.com/alcames/live.
Visitation will be held on November 5th, from 4-6 p.m. at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care, 414 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010. Koleta's family welcomes any and all stories, photos and memories that family, friends and colleagues would like to share.
Online condolences may be directed to www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com.
In lieu of flowers, her family encourages you to make a contribution to Heartland Senior Services Adult Day Center in Koleta's name at https://www.heartlandseniorservices.com/donate/.
"Don-So sorry for your great loss. I know how much you cared for your oved one as I remember you bringing her along to Texas for some railroad buisiness and her health was failing, pretty much touched my heart to see how much you cared. Be strong and take care- A co worker Gary Dorn"
"I knew my sister Koleta as "Bunny". We grew up together in Iowa, and as is often true of siblings close in age suffered the curse of sibling rivalry and arguments; however, when push came to shove, we would stand together against others who caused mischief. As the years passed, we were not at all as close as we would have liked. Time, circumstances and distance greatly contributed to this. Despite being apart, I never forgot my sister and love her to this day. I pray she understood my love for her. I have no doubt that I'll see her again and time and distance will be forgotten. I would like to pay tribute to my brother-in-law Don. His undying love and support and her love for him her family greatly affected the years she lived despite what the doctors had predicted. She was a strong and courageous woman and is greatly missed."