Sheldon Forrest Bernau, the son of Jack Bernau and Claudia Ann (Wolter) Bernau, was born on May 2, 1970, in Burlington, Wis. He passed away peacefully at home, Jan. 23, 2023, surrounded by his family.
Sheldon is preceded in death by his father, Jack Bernau; paternal grandparents, Jack and Stephanie Bernau; maternal grandparents, William and Delite Wolter; uncle Keith Bernau and his mother-in-law Diane Norris.
He is survived by his wife, Lisa and his children Diana Joy and Benjamin Forrest, all of Pensacola, Fla., his mother, Claudia Bernau of Cabool, Mo.; his sisters, Rosie (Scott) Bumgardener of Grovesport, Ohio, and Cynthia (Mark) Walker of Terre Haute, Ind.; his father-in-law, Jerry Norris of Pensacola, Fla.; his brother-in-law, Mark Norris of Pensacola, Fla.; and numerous nieces, cousins, aunts and uncles.
Sheldon accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior at the age of 5 and began playing the piano for church services at the age of 11. He was a beacon of light to those around him. He never met a stranger and spread God’s love and grace to everyone he met.
Sheldon began his career at the age of 11 with 34 clients mowing and caring for their lawns. He also raised rabbits and baby calves that he bought in the spring and sold in the fall. Doing this he was able to pay all four years of college with a double major.
He loved football, especially the Green Bay Packers, his dog, “Bay,” a lab, golf and hunting.
He enjoyed playing the piano, including his favorite songs, “Sweet Bye and Bye,” “Because He Lives,” “Victory in Jesus,” “Just a Closer Walk with Three,” and “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”
He did volunteer work at TCMH as a candy striper during his high school years.
In Pensacola, he also participated in martial arts and was active in Phi Beta Kappa collegian.
He graduated from Mountain Grove Christian Academy (Missouri), Pensacola Christian College (bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration – 1992) and the University of West Florida (master’s degree in accountancy – 2004). An internship with Merrill Lynch during his senior year of college launched his interest and career in financial advising, business development, tax preparation, wealth management and estate planning. Following graduation, he was able to have an internship in Petosky, Mich. Sheldon returned to Houston, Mo., and started the investment center at Landmark Bank.
Sheldon was a proud team member with Merrill Lynch; the Bank of Pensacola/Coastal Bank and Trust; O’Sullivan Creel/Warren Averett; Saltmarch, Cleaveland and Gund and since 2011, the Synovus Trust Company.
He enjoyed serving his clients and representing Synovus Trust throughout the panhandle region from Mobile, Ala., to Tallahassee, Fla. He was a member of numerous professional organizations and served on many civic boards. Sheldon was an active member of the First Baptist Church Pensacola. He was a dedicated assistant coach for Florida Dream, an AAU basketball team. Shelton cultivated educational and athletic opportunities as a way of encouraging his children, their friends and young athletes to pursue moral excellence both on and off the court. He was a student of the Bible and continued sharing his testimony through Scripture in his final days. His favorite Bible verses include Psalm 119, Psalm 91 and Psalm 23.
The family extends grateful appreciation to MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
Sheldon’s celebration of life service was Feb. 1, 2023, at First Baptist Church Pensacola with Dr. Dave Snyder and Dr. Barry Howard officiating. Private family interment was at Bayview Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, Shelton would be honored if you considered contributing to the following: 1. First Baptist Church Pensacola (fbcp.org), 2. Jack Parker Scholarship (c/o Synovus Trust Company, 125 W. Romana St., Suite 400, Pensacola, Fla., 32502), 3. IMPACT100 Pensacola Bay Area (impact100pensacola.org) or 4. Pilots for Christ (pilotsforchrist.net).
To God be the glory, great things He has done!