Couple with Local Ties Killed in Airplane Accident

| May 6, 2019

Dr. Joseph T. Bernardo, often called “J.” by many of his colleagues, and his wife Valerie Diane Bernardo perished in an airplane accident on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

Joe was born on March 5, 1964, in Lodi, New Jersey, the son of Joseph and Ruth (Niosi) Bernardo, who are both surviving at their home in Andover, New Jersey.

Joe earned his Ph.D. from Penn State in IST. He was employed at Penn State for nine years, where he was a Senior Research Engineer at the Applied Research Lab.

Joe loved flying and was a member of the Psyfliers Club.

Valerie was born on Jan. 7, 1965, in Butler, Pennsylvania, the daughter of the late John King and Peggy (Yori) King, who survives at her home in Chicora.

Valerie also attended Penn State, where she earned her master’s degree in nutrition and was a Registered Dietitian for 28 years.

She loved to spend time outdoors gardening. Above all, Valerie proudly devoted her life to taking care of her family and home.

On May 18, 1986, in Rimersburg, Joe and Valerie were united in marriage. The two shared 32 blissful years of marriage together, while lovingly raising their two children.

In addition to Joe’s parents and Valerie’s mother, the couple is survived by their two children, Bethany and Justin Bernardo, both of State College. Also surviving are Joe’s sister, Karen Bernardo of New Jersey; Valerie’s sister, Sheryl Schmader; niece Madison and nephew Nicholas, all of California; and brother, Alan King and spouse Mathew Alexander of New Mexico.

Joe and Valerie were devoted members of Park Forest Baptist Church in State College.

Friends will be received on Tuesday, May 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Park Forest Baptist Church at 3030 Carnegie Drive, State College.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 8, at 10 a.m. at the church, with Rev. Jeremy Field officiating.

Burial will immediately follow at Boalsburg Cemetery, where Joe and Valerie will be laid to rest side by side, just as they lived.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Joe and Valerie’s memory to The Door Student Services, Pioneers Japan: Hiroshima Team, or Pregnancy Resource Clinic.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

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Category: Local News, News, Obituaries