John Ward Berst
John passed away peacefully at Woodstock Hospital on September 6, 2021 in his 86th year. Beloved husband of the late Elaine (nee Butler) Berst (2016). He will be truly missed by daughters and sons-in-law Heather (Tony) Zwicewicz, Jennifer (Shaun) Hatchell and Julie Ellery (Dan Murray), his grandchildren Lindsay, John, Aaron, Alicia, Amanda, Jordan, Nathen, Nic, Jack and Jenna, and 12 (soon to be 13) great grandchildren, all of whom he was extremely proud. Barb Newell, his friend and companion for the last five years, will also miss him dearly. He was a loved brother of Alfred (Jean) Berst, Betty (Bob) Balatka, Margaret (Fred) Catherwood, Barbara (Andy) Madill, and Uncle to many nieces and nephews.
John was a teacher and principal at many schools over the years in both Oxford and Lambton County. He considered this position to be a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life and endeavored to know every child in the school by name. After retiring John fulfilled a long-held wish to take piano lessons and was successful in passing his Grade 7 Royal Conservatory Exam. He felt his lessons made him a better member of the Knox Presbyterian Church Choir. He enjoyed many hobbies over the years including flying, hunting, fishing and bridge playing with friends he had known since childhood. An avid lover of nature, he was able to continue enjoying his walks on the Pittock Trail until the week before his passing.
Cremation has taken place, and a private celebration of John’s life will be held at a future date. Wareing Cremation Services, 225 Norwich Ave., Woodstock, Ontario entrusted with final arrangements. Messages of remembrance and condolence may be shared at wareingcremation.ca