Larry Berens

After a long battle with chronic illness and debilitating pain, Larry Dennis Berens, 81, went home to Jesus on July 19, 2019, surrounded by family. Larry was born on April 21, 1938, in Atlantic, Iowa, the son of William F. and Ione E. (Kirschbaum) Berens and graduated from Clarion High School in 1957.


On December 14, 1962, Larry was united in marriage to Frances Goodin in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Two children were born to this union.

Larry was an Air Force Veteran and had an impressive, 50-year-long career in aviation, earning several achievement awards throughout his lifetime. While in the Air Force, he opened his own aircraft maintenance shop in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and later also served as an FAA mechanic examiner. Larry and Fran moved to Iowa in 1972, where Larry retired in 1996. The couple then spent 10 years in Mountain View, Arkansas, where they restored and ran a bed and breakfast. While there, Fran enjoyed playing music and Larry restored airplanes. Larry was also very involved in the upkeep of St. Mary Catholic Church in Mountain View.

Larry was preceded in death by his baby brother, Dick, just four weeks prior, and he longed to see his best friend again; also by his mother, father, several aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends.

Larry loved, honored, and adored his wife of 57 years, Fran, who was his tireless caretaker over the last several years. He was incredibly proud of his two children, John (Coleen) and Kelli (Chris), as well as his five grandsons, Connor, Brady, Ian, Adam and Bo. His hospice caregivers knew all about his family, because he chatted about them so frequently.

Larry enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, woodworking, airplanes, his Swisher Sweets cigars and a nice CC & 7 every so often. He felt that most problems could be solved if people would “never go to bed mad,” and he frequently advised others to “just love each other.”

Larry was one tough cookie, yet kind, generous, and loving. He volunteered his time when he could, and had a heart for helping others. He made many close and dear friends throughout his lifetime, up until the very end, and he will be so missed by those who were lucky enough to know him.

Given Larry’s variety of unique medical conditions, it had always been his ongoing joke, but very real wish, to have his body donated to science. For that reason, he made arrangements in the year prior to his passing to donate his body to the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine’s Deeded Body Program. Due to the time-sensitive nature of the donation process, memorial services will be delayed until completion of research, most likely Fall of 2020.


Survivors include Larry’s wife, Fran; his children, John (Coleen) Berens of Denver, Colorado, and Kelli (Chris) Brink of Manchester; five grandsons; and a sister-in-law, Shirley Berens of Clarion, Iowa.


Larry was preceded by his parents and a brother, Richard D. Berens.

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There will be no services at this time.