John Berwick, 92, was born an only child and raised in Kansas City, KS. At 16, he restored an old Aeronca airplane, and at 18, flew it to John Brown University to study engineering. The next year he sold it to buy an engagement ring for his one true love, Anna Mae. She was the oldest of 7 children and he enjoyed being in a large active family. They married, graduated then moved to Wichita for his job with Boeing. Their last move was to Valley Center in 1966 with their 3 girls because John was an avid pilot and wanted to be near the new airport at High Point.
John retired as Chief Engineer for Cessna in 1990. While at Cessna he designed the Cessna Caravan, which is still used by FedEx. He was involved in developing several other airplanes for Cessna following his retirement, including the JPAT. He was a member of Experimental Aircraft Association and would test fly other people’s experimental planes. He designed and built 2 of his own racing planes, one of which is now owned by Jim Wiebe.
When he retired, he exchanged his signature bow tie for utilitarian coveralls. He was teased because he had regular ones and “dress” ones. They bought a Motorhome and took off exploring, traveling North America from Alaska to Mexico. They joined the Foretravel Club and enjoyed many adventures with them. They were usually gone more than they were home.
John was very involved with every church they attended, serving as deacon, elder, Sunday School teacher and faithful choir member. He was active for many years in Bible Study Fellowship and as a Gideon, sharing Bibles with people as they traveled. He was devoted to helping people come to know the Lord, and praying for them.
Three of his favorite sayings were: “Let’s pray first.”, “Did you learn anything?” and
“We’re burning daylight.”
He was preceded in death by his adored wife of 68 years, Anna Mae (2019), and son-in-law, Mark Maxwell (2020). He is survived by his three daughters, Martha Maxwell, Susan (Tom) Harris all of Valley Center and Lisa (Alan) McNiel of Highland Village, TX; 7 grandchildren, Aaron (Misti) Maxwell of Wichita, Jonathan (Rachel) Maxwell of Valley Center, Matt (Kari) Harris of Valley Center, Miranda (Joel) Lomurno of Wichita, Anna-Marie (Daniel) Carter, Max (Maddie) McNiel and Alex McNiel all of Texas; 10 great-grandchildren and one due in Sept. Faithful friends, Jim and Barb Wiebe and Roger Williams.
Both John and Anna Mae fulfilled the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.”
May we remember and honor their lives by doing the same.
Private family graveside will be held at Valley Center Cemetery.