Mitchell Kagan Berner, devoted husband, son, brother and friend, passed away on January 18, 2023 after a tenacious battle with colon cancer. He was 59 years old.
Mitch was born on June 29, 1963, and adopted by Joyce and Edgar Berner of San Diego. Mitch always considered himself fortunate to be part of the Berner family, whose home welcomed all who crossed its threshold. Mitch spent his childhood surrounded by extended family, biking down Montezuma Road, goal tending for both hockey and lacrosse, jet skiing on Mission Bay, and working at the family business.
After graduating from La Jolla Country Day School, Mitch attended the University of Texas, graduating with a degree in Political Science. There he met the love of his life, Kelly Whitmire, whom he married in 1986. Mitch went on to get his Master‘s of Public Administration from USC and pursued a fulfilling career in politics working for San Diego politicians and running his own political consulting business, Public Solutions.
Mitch was known for his fierce stubbornness, quiet strength of purpose and laser-like focus on any task he deemed worthy. Those who really knew Mitch appreciated his devotion to family and friendships; his eclectic interests in sports, travel, music and theater; and his quirky obsessions with Riverdance, Sweet Factory candy, and his cat, Kaspar. He expressed his depth of emotion quietly and unexpectedly with gifts of service, always seeking to make life easier for those he loved. Whether it was planning family reunions, trips with friends, shipping meals to someone going through hardship, or showing up at a hospital bedside to offer comfort and love, Mitch embodied those early lessons of family supporting anyone who crossed his threshold.
In addition to his beloved wife, Kelly, Mitch is survived by his father Edgar Berner (Julie); siblings Jessica Freidman (Geoff), Darryn Lowenstein (Michael), Kevin Berner (Oksana), and Tracy Cohen; grandmother, Mary Binderman; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins. Mitch was predeceased by his mother, Joyce Addleson Miller.
A service will be held for family and close friends on Tuesday, January 24 at 2:00 at Congregation Beth Israel at 9001 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego, CA 92122. The service will also be live-streamed on the following link: https://youtu.be/ZdS5cPp3FuQ. In lieu of flowers, please consider gifts in Mitch’s memory to Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center. You can give online at https://giving.scripps.org or by check to Scripps Health Foundation with “Mitchell Berner” in the memo line and mailed to Scripps Health Foundation, PO Box 2669, La Jolla, CA 92038. Also, donations to Congregation Beth Israel are encouraged.
April 14th, 1981 - January 13th, 2023
Jeff had a brilliant mind. He was a talented artist and author. He wrote, illustrated, and published several books. Jeff had a kind, loving, compassionate heart. He was passionate about his landscaping business, education, his students at Sycamore Ridge School, and his fiancé and her daughter.
Jeff is sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. He was loved by all who knew him. Jeff made a difference in many lives.