American Veteran 01

Robert C. Berens

October 10, 1933 ~ July 17, 2022 (age 88)


Robert C. Berens, 88, of Naples, went home to be with the Lord on July 17, 2022. He was born in Massillon Oct 10, 1933. Born to Christian and Anna (May), Bob was the youngest of ten children: Raymond, Ruth, George, Juliet, Dale, Donald, Roy, Karl, and Marianne. Music filled his childhood and evenings saw the family singing together on the porch with neighbors coming out to listen. Bob received Christ’s gift of forgiveness and was baptized at the age of 14, regularly attending services all his life, even pitching in to physically build Calvary Chapel in his hometown.
Bob graduated Washington High School and attended The Ohio State University. He served as a Petty Officer in the Navy and as a Demolition Sergeant in the Army Special Forces Reserve. His musical upbringing earned him a place in a military choir and throughout his life he would whistle or quietly sing a favorite chorus from a Frank Sinatra song. He worked for North American Aviation, Republic Steel, and State Farm. He was married to Linda L. Lutz from 1955 to 1985 with whom he had four children: Robert (Bridget) Diana (Richard E. Brown, deceased), Cindy (Robert Eicher, Jr.) and Wendy (David Rochester). He volunteered in Stark County Sheriff's Reserve Division for 9 years before serving as Sheriff from 1981 to 1985 during which time he took on organized crime and rooted out corruption. He engaged in numerous law enforcement trainings and even joined an international anti-terrorism tour of agencies in Europe. Bob knew how to be tough, and yet was a gentle, warm, and loving father and friend.
Bob moved to Florida and met Nancy “Safari Jane” Tetzlaff, co-founder of Jungle Larry’s Safari/Naples Zoo. They were married in 1987 and he lovingly welcomed two stepsons into his family: David (Kelly) and Tim (Kathryn). An accomplished handyman and problem solver, his work in Florida ranged from carpentry to property management. When he showed up in his trademark suspenders, structures got built and broken things got fixed. Bob came alongside Nancy in many ways offering his construction skills and even driving the animals between Naples and Cedar Point in Ohio. Together they loved traveling, particularly the mountains, and to the annual Berens family reunions where gospel songs and traditional favorites from his youth would fill the air. He enjoyed the camaraderie of deer season, precious time visiting family and friends, and weekly card games. Bob especially treasured the regular company of fellow veterans and supporting those actively serving by buying and packing supplies for troops serving overseas. Bob loved God, his country, and his large and growing family - taking joy in everything from a new baby to a military graduation.
Bob is survived by his wife of 34 years, Nancy; children; grandchildren Mike Berens (Veronique), Chris Berens, Johnny Berens (Shayle), Jennifer Dzindzio (Steve Egan), Taylor Brown (Kristen), Evan Brown (Sara), Abigail Schuster (Matthew), Robert Eicher III (Stacy), Stephan Eicher, Jamie Buccilla, Sean Abraham, and Elizabeth Bracco (deceased); great grandchildren McKayla, McKenzie, Troy, Hayden, Lainey, Austin, Ethan, Marcus, Mitchal, Talia, Gia, Benjamin, Amelia, Myra, Richard, Natan, Ivy, Violet, Tori, Tara; step-grandchildren Sasha, Kyle, Zane, Paige; and step-great grandchildren Jack and Luke.
A visitation will be at Heitger Funeral Home - Jackson Chapel, 5850 Wales Ave. N.W. on Friday, July 29, 2022 from 5 to 8 pm. 
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 30, 2022 at  11 A.M.  at Calvary Chapel, 8151 Stuhldreher St. N.W., Massillon.  Pastors Josh Pizor and Mick Robinson will officiate.  There will also be visitation at the church prior to the service from 10 A.M. to 11 A.M.
Interment with military honors will follow the service at Sunset Hills Burial Park.  
Memorials may be made to Alzheimer’s Support Network, (1421 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 100, Naples, FL 34109 ) 

Condolences to the family may be made her on our tribute page. 
Heitger Funeral Home and Crematory 330-830-0148

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July 29, 2022

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Heitger Funeral Home-Jackson Chapel
5850 Wales Ave. N.W.
Jackson Township, OHIO 44646

July 30, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Calvary Chapel
8151 Stuhldreher St. N.W.
Massillon, OH 44646

Funeral Service
July 30, 2022

11:00 AM
Calvary Chapel
8151 Stuhldreher St. N.W.
Massillon, OH 44646

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