Harriett Bernigene Doerschner was born in June of 1930 to John William and Harriet Hope (Lonsdale) Sheridan in Butler, PA. Bernigene, as she insisted on being called, grew up in the small town of Mars, PA. After high school, she began working at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh. While working, she was encouraged to go on a blind date by a friend. This is how she met the man that she would love for 70 years, Donald Doerschner. Don would drive from the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh to Mars, PA (a distance of about 30 miles with no expressways or interstates) to see and date his new love, using his brother’s car. Don had enlisted in the United States Air Force, and Bernigene promised to wait for him until he returned from being stationed in England. The couple wrote to each other regularly for a few years until his return and thereby solidified their love. They married on June 30, 1956.
In 1960, the couple welcomed their son Ed and a year later their daughter Connie. They purchased a house in the Pittsburgh suburb of Bellevue for their family. They spent every chance and every penny they had making the house into a home. In 1969, they completed their family with the birth of their youngest daughter, Nancy. They enjoyed spending time with their children and grandchildren and their extended family of parents and siblings.
Bernigene and Don loved each other deeply for many happy years, living in and enjoying their beloved Bellevue home and senior apartments in West View and Mars, PA. In 2021, they moved to Dover, DE to live with their youngest daughter and family. A few short weeks after arriving, Bernigene lost her heart when Don passed. She continued to bless her family every day for the next 2 years.
Bernigene had varied interests. She loved flowers, the color purple, taking walks, exercise classes, and playing bingo. She was quite “crafty” as she hand-made many and various crafts as gifts for her family and sharing with her church women’s group. She was a woman of faith and was a long-time member of Greenstone Methodist Church in Avalon, PA. She loved to tell stories about her family and childhood, her life with Don, and her home in Pittsburgh. She was immensely proud of her grandson serving in the US Navy, and her granddaughter “the engineer”. She continued to attend soccer and field hockey events for her youngest granddaughter and was a well-known figure in the stands. She loved to play cards, go out to dinner with her son, sit on the deck in the sunshine, and enjoy a glass of wine (or two!). She had fond memories of the beach and looked forward to visits from her nephew Rob and his girlfriend, Janice.
Bernigene passed from this life to be with the Lord on April 30, 2023, surrounded by family. She leaves behind her son, Ed Doerschner of Mars, PA, Connie (Lloyd) Wilson of Pittsburgh, PA, Nancy and son-in-law, David Haupt of Dover, DE and grandchildren: Star, Seanna, Tyranae, Drake and wife Cassie (Thomas) of WA, and Temperance, and great grandchildren, as well as her much-loved nephew, Rob Doerschner of Alexandria, VA.
Bernigene is laid to rest at Dutilh Church Cemetery in Cranberry Township PA, reunited with her beloved husband at last.
To send flowers
to the family or plant a tree
in memory of Harriett Bernigene Doerschner, please visit our floral store.