Bernard Jay Christner

November 18, 1951January 3, 2020

Bernard Jay Christner, 68, of Sarasota, Florida died on Friday, January 3, 2020 surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Buffalo New York on November 18, 1951, son of Marjorie Christner and the late H. Walter Christner.

Bernie was the oldest son of four children. He was a successful entrepreneur and enjoyed passing on his knowledge of business, strong work-ethic and financial stewardship to others. More importantly, he was a compassionate man with a servant’s heart. His love for the lord and understanding of what it truly meant to be a Christian was evident in the way he lived his life and the manor with which he treated others. He was an active member of Sarasota Community Church.

Bernie is survived by his wife of 15 years Catharine (Hahn) Christner, two children, Jessica (Surafel) and Michael, and a step-daughter, Jennifer Moore (James). He is also survived by seven grandchildren, two brothers, David, Michael and one sister Donna. Service for the celebration of his life will be held Saturday, January 11, 2020 at Sarasota Community Church, 4041 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, FL. Visitation at 9:00am and service at 10:00. Interment will be private.

Donation checks may be made payable to Donate Life America, Consider saving a life by registering to be an organ donor.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, January 11, 2020


Bernard Jay Christner

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Kathy Cook

January 10, 2020

Tom and I are heart broken. We had the highest respect for Bernie, for so many reasons. I never worried about Tom when he was travelling there on buying trips, when Bernie was involved in any way. He was such an honest, kind and caring human being. Our hearts go out to Cathy and their family.

Megan Christner

January 10, 2020

One of my earliest and strongest memories of Bernie was from Beaver Camp in New York. Though we were second cousins I had a tendency to call him Uncle Bernie. Throughout that family gathering I would often park myself in his lap. I could sense his gentle and good soul that was full of love for God even at such young age.

Phil Martin

January 10, 2020

Bernie was kind, compassionate, and generous. In the years that I knew him at Alden Mennonite Bernie thoughtfully encouraged me. Thank you for the kindness Bernie. Cathy and family I mourn your difficult loss and give thanks with you that Bernie is fully in God's life giving presence.

Joyce Atkinson

January 8, 2020

Bernie was such a loving, caring man. When my family moved to Western New York with basically nothing, Bernie provided us with a couch, coffee table and other items from his antique business so that we could set up our home. He gave so willingly and generously.

As well he also had a twinkle about him, and quick, subtle humor. He will be missed.

Lindsay Pawlikowski

January 7, 2020

Bernie was such a kind man. I remember he always had a smile and something comical to say that was so subtle you almost didn’t catch it sometimes, but it made him so endearing. Deepest condolences to Cathy and the family.

Rick Beachy

January 7, 2020

I was only privileged to know Bernie for the past few years but he was an awesome man of God. We went out for breakfast a few times and he was always grateful, even in the midst of suffering. I never heard him complain or question God. He is now were we all long to be - in the presence of Jesus! May God bless his family with comfort and peace.

Virginia Locklear

January 7, 2020

I only knew Bernie for about 4 years but in that short time I knew of his strong faith and kindness to others.