In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the El Dorado Christian School or the Ducks Unlimited Chapter of El Dorado Springs or Toys for Tots
Scott Laverne Berning, 68, of El Dorado Springs, passed away on December 6, 2021 at his home. Scott was born June 27, 1953, to Chester Laverne Berning and Margaret Amanda (Ray) Berning. The family resided in Stockton, MO, at the time.
In his early childhood, Scott and his sister, Debbie, spent many wonderful summers and holidays at his maternal grandparents’ farm, Orville and Stella (Price) Ray near Bear Creek, MO. Scott said next to his mother, his grandmother Ray was the most caring, compassionate, encouraging person he had ever met.
When Scott was 5 years old, the young family moved to El Dorado Springs. About a year later after a severe case of measles with a sustained high fever, Scott began having much difficulty walking and running. After enduring multitudes of tests, Scott was diagnosed with a neuro-muscular disorder. In 1965 Scott was the state poster child for the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. Scott continued to be an advocate over many years assisting with many MDA tele-thons and fundraisers.
After graduation from EHS in 1971, with the assistance of his neighborhood friend Tom Clawson, Scott was able to attend Ft. Scott Community College in Kansas where he was elected the president of the student body. Scott was able to continue his college education at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, MO, with the assistance of his cousin and lifelong friend, Charles Emmett Ray. Scott and his cousin were inducted into membership to the Theta Chi Fraternity. While residing in Warrensburg, Scott met his future wife, Suzette Riney, who along with her family resided next door. Scott returned to his hometown in 1980 and with help from his father, opened Bernco Sports Headquarters. Two sons were born to this union, Derek Scott and Dillon Ray. In the early years of their marriage Scott and Suzette met and befriended a young boy, Jeffery Hughes, who became a surrogate son to them. Jeff later came to live with them for part of his sophomore and his senior years at EHS.
Scott was very youth, civic and community minded. In 1980 he was approached by his friend Robert Floyd who wished to form an Optimist Club. They spent many hours working on this and Scott became the charter president. He was a city councilman, the mayor, worked to form 2 Junior Optimist clubs, coached summer youth baseball, was a representative to Vocation Rehabilitation and went to Washington, DC two times to meet with US senators to lobby help for continued funding of their programs, served on the On My Own Inc. board, served a 6 year term as a trustee with the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 4279 and helped form and became area chairman of the El Dorado Springs Ducks Unlimited Chapter. Even before becoming an Optimist Club member, Scott seemed to live his life following their Creed. He often spoke and counseled parents of young children with special needs to encourage them to have productive and purposeful lives and to help them find assistance and resources. At an early age, Scott’s father, an avid outdoorsman, taught him to appreciate nature, teaching him to fish and hunt. He most enjoyed spending time with his granddaughters teaching them to trout fish and fishing in ponds. Along with several friends and relatives he duck hunted at Schell-Osage Wildlife area and actually was featured in a MDC video on accessibility of hunting areas for persons with disabilities.
Despite the continued COVID-19 pandemic Scott had an eventful 2021 year. He spent his 68th birthday trout fishing at Bennett Spring State Park; along with his wife, quietly celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary; attended the 50th class reunion for the class of 1971, assisted his fellow DU committee members with another successful year of fundraising culminating with the annual banquet in August; all prior to experiencing a multitude of health problems with blood clots, kidney stones, a severe stroke and being diagnosed with cancer. Scott made the decision to return to his home to live out the remainder of his time with his family.
Scott was preceded in death by his parents, his youngest brother, Aaron Edwin Berning, and a granddaughter, Airason Mae Berning.
Scott is survived by his wife, Suzette; his two sons – Derek and wife, Nicole, of Nevada, and Dillon, of El Dorado Springs; granddaughters Amara and Malynn Pippin of Nevada, Kella Berning of Nevada, and Arianna Berning of El Dorado Springs; a sister, Deborah and husband Randy Kimes of Kentucky; his brother, Blaine Berning, El Dorado Springs, his nephew Kevin Berning with whom he shared a close relationship, his surrogate son, Jeffery Hughes of El Dorado Springs, as well as a host of other nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Scott met and made many friends, living a big and wonderful life and would encourage all of us to follow his lead.
Pallbearers: Derek Berning, Dillon Berning, Travis Berning, Brandon Berning, Kevin Berning, Bradley McCullick.
Honorary Pallbearers: Roger Berning, Rick Berning, Max Berning, Barry Berning, Denny Berning, Danny Berning, Jeff Berning, Mark Beason, Calvin Beason, Travis Ray, Chuck Ray, Ron Cole, Randy Kimes, Keith Riney, John Dunham, FOE 4279, The Optimist Club of El Dorado Springs.