On May 14th, Mark Berninger was out riding his bike on a sunny day, as he had thousands of times before. A safe and experienced cyclist, and for reasons which remain unknown, Mark fell suddenly, suffering devastating injuries from which he never recovered. He passed away on June 4th at the age of 72.
Mark Berninger was born on September 6, 1948 to Clifford and Mariea Berninger in New York City. The eldest of their four children, he grew up in Queens, Long Island and Massachusetts. He would often recount his boyhood adventures with fondness and joy. Always an excellent student, he studied microbiology at Columbia University and the PHD program at MIT. He began his exciting career as a pioneer in molecular biology in Maryland where he met and married the love of his life, Cathy. There he and Cathy raised their three children: Marie, Matthew, and Meredith. Over the course of his career he developed dozens of innovative technologies and methods in his field, ultimately holding the patents to sixteen inventions. He rose to become an influential executive in biotechnology and was a widely respected expert domestically and internationally.
Mark lived every day to the fullest and had an insatiable sense of wonderment and curiosity. A lifelong learner, he was known to take on new languages, cook new cuisines, and engross himself in entirely new areas of study. He was a natural athlete, competing in numerous triathlons (including his most recent at age 72), playing baseball, basketball, tennis and pickleball, and sharing his love of competition with his children and grandchildren. A lifelong member of the Lutheran Church, he lived the values of his faith in every aspect of his life.
Mark Berninger was a family man. He and Cathy shared thirty-nine wonderful years of marriage, raised a family, and traveled the world. When his job took him away from home, he always returned with stories and gifts to expand his children’s world. He proudly and faithfully attended hundreds of games, recitals, and other events for his children - serving as coach, confidant, and counselor through the ups and downs. He was a proud and loving grandfather, tirelessly travelling around the country to enjoy his children and grandchildren, and help in every possible way.
Mark Berninger will be dearly missed by his family and friends. We share countless memories of his infectious humor, good nature, joy for life and learning and his steadfast love and dedication. He will always inspire us.
Mark is survived by his wife, Cathy; his daughter, Marie, son-in-law, Ari Flores, and their three children: Bruce, Aaron, and Paulo; his son, Matthew, daughter-in-law, Alex, and their daughter, Cooper; his daughter, Meredith and her fiancée, Abhi Pulla. Mark is also survived by his siblings, Ann, Donald, and Robert and their spouses and children. He is predeceased by his mother, Mariea, and father, Clifford.
Thursday June 17, from 6:00 - 8:00pm
Ponte Vedra Valley Funeral Home, 4750 Palm Valley Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Friday June 18, at 10:00am
St. Francis of the Field Episcopal Church, 895 Palm Valley Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081
For those who wish to attend remotely via livestream, please email email@example.com
Reception to Follow, All are Welcome
Dress code for all events:
Please feel free to wear summer colors, white and pastels as Mark would have wanted (traditional funeral all-black is not necessary). Folks are welcome to wear short-sleeved dress shirts, polo shirts, Hawaiian prints encouraged (no ties or dress coats necessary), it's warm here in Florida.
Hotel Suggestion for out-of-town friends and family:
Hilton Garden Inn in Ponte Vedra Sawgrass (room block available for Mark's memorial)
45 Tournament Players Club Blvd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
In lieu of gifts please consider a donation to either Boston Children’s Hospital Esophageal Atresia Treatment Program (https://bostonchildrenshospital.org/givenow , under Gift Designation select “Other” and enter Fund 94929 EA Treatment & Care Program Fund) or the Appendix Cancer Research Foundation at https://acpmp.org/.