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John " Jack" Bernritter
Mercer Funeral Home in Holton
rural Havensville, KS

John “Jack” Carl Bernritter died at home surrounded by family on February 20, 2021; he was 87 years old.

He was born to John Charles and Lillian Fogel Bernritter on February 5, 1934 and lived near Maple Hill, Ks on the “Daddy” Layman Place until 1942 when the family moved to rural Havensville. He graduated from Havensville High School in 1952. Jack served 2 years in the army stationed in Korea 1954-1955 in the 3rd Combat Engineers, 24th Division as an Engineer Equipment Mechanic.

He was united in marriage to Betty Mae Area on December 29, 1957. They shared over 63 years of marriage; she survives of the home in rural Havensville. Other survivors include his daughter Robin and her husband Dan Kolterman, rural Havensville and their two daughters, Keely and Katelynn of Kansas City, Mo. One son, John Von Bernritter and wife Suzanne and their two sons Keegan Von and Kyler John of Havensville, Ks. One sister, Shirley and her husband Jim Barnes of Auburn, Kansas.

Jack’s lifelong career was working as a Soil Contractor, forming the Bernritter Construction Company with his dad after returning from service in Korea. They built numerous dams and many miles of local roads through the years. He was a charter member of the Kansas Land Improvement Contractors Association (KLICA) and served a term as president of the organization. He was honored to be Contractor of the Year in 1985. He retired in 1996.

Jack and his wife Betty spent many winters in Arizona after his retirement for they loved traveling the country. His passion for genealogy led them to travel to Germany two different times to find Bernritter relatives and kin folk enabling them to trace the Bernritter linage back to the 1700’s.

He was a past Master Mason of the Havensville and Onaga Lodge and a member of the American Legion and the VFW. He was a Buck’s Grove cemetery trustee for many years, contributing many hours on improvements of the grounds including the steps (ramp), fence and prayer park.

Jack will lie in state Tuesday February 23, 2021 thru Thursday, February 25, 2021 until 6:00 p.m. at Mercer Funeral Home in Holton. A Private Family Funeral will be Friday with a public Burial with Military Honors at Bucks Grove Cemetery at 12:00 p.m. February 26, 2021. Memorials may be given to the Havensville Rural High School Association c/o Mercer Funeral Home P.O. Box 270 Holton, KS 66436. To leave a special message for the family please visit


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