Joseph Bercini, 91

Published 9:34pm Monday, September 10, 2012

Joseph Bercini, 91

Joseph Bercini, of Dowagiac, a gentle, kind and loving man passed away Sept. 8, 2012, at age 91.


The son of Sabatino and Clementina (Biagi) Bercini, Joe was born and raised in Chicago and moved to Dowagiac in 1945, when he married Edyth Gross.

Joe is survived by his wife of 66 years; his daughter, Susan Kulesza of Euless, Texas; and his son, John (Rebecca) of Hinsdale, Ill. He cherished his grandchildren, Kelly Wahlen, Kevin Kulesza and Dr. Krista Kulesza; and great-grandchildren, Joshua, Kari and Logan; as well as two very special nieces, Pat Valenti and Pamela Peacock.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Matilda Peters; and brother, Angelo Bercini.

Joe joined the Navy in September 1942 and served on the USS Cascade in the South Pacific until his discharge in January 1946. In his younger days, Joe was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed deer hunting in the Upper Peninsula and fishing in Canada with his son, John.

Joe was elected as a constable for the City of Dowagiac in 1963 and was the oldest elected constable in the State of Michigan. He was also a member of the Dowagiac Police Reserves and served on the Dowagiac Zoning Board of Appeals. Joe was a plant inspector in the modular housing industry, retiring in 1986 from TR Arnold & Associates in Elkhart, Ind.

After his retirement, Joe enjoyed golfing on the senior league, gardening and having coffee every morning with the seniors at Caruso’s.

Visitation will be held at the Yazel & Clark Chapel on Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Services will be held at the Yazel & Clark Chapel on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 11 a.m. with internment at Riverside Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Cass County Council on Aging or The Salvation Army.

Please sign his guestbook and leave a memory of Joe at

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  • danny rife

    to joe’s family, what a wonderful man. i never met a nicer person. he always had time to visit and wanted to know how i was doing. joe always left me feeling good. thank you for being part of my life. i will miss you. with all my love, danny

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