Lisa Jaeger Bernheisel (11/4/77- 3/5/23), devoted wife, dedicated mother of four, beloved pastor, and cherished friend, passed away from colon cancer under home Hospice care. Her ability to inspire, uplift and enlighten others was evident in her CaringBridge posts which chronicled her journey.
Born in northwest Ohio, Lisa’s early years were in Toledo, Elmore, and a mission station in Cameroon, West Africa. Perrysburg Schools and Zoar Lutheran Church provided a caring, nurturing environment as she grew in knowledge and faith. One of 4 daughters, Lisa enjoyed spending time with siblings, nearby cousins and friends, learning about nature from her father and about music and cultural diversity from her mother.
Chris Bernheisel stole her heart in high school with his sense of humor, gentle spirit and brilliant mind. They supported one another through demands of their careers, Chris as a physician and Lisa as a pastor, while providing their children with unconditional love. They celebrated 24 years of marriage in December.
Professionally, Lisa was a leader, a teacher, a counselor, a preacher. At the Ohio State University, she majored in International Studies with an emphasis on equity in developing countries. She entered Trinity Seminary in Columbus and became a Lutheran pastor, serving several congregations in the Cincinnati area including Ascension, Atonement, St Peter in Trenton, Christ the King, Vida Eterna Iglesia Luterana, St Paul in Reading, the Presbyterian Church of Wyoming, and most recently, St Timothy Episcopal Church in Beechmont.
Her passion was spiritual direction and she often led workshops on issues of spirituality, conflict resolution, and parenting. After the 2008 loss of Oliver George in late pregnancy, she provided workshops and sessions helping others work through grief after the loss of a child. She had an innate ability to connect and love everyone, truly living out that mantra “God loves you – no exceptions.”
Travel was very important with annual childhood trips to New Hampshire, cultural trips to Spain, Costa Rica, Cuba, Greece and the Holy Land, and mission trips to Honduras and Appalachia. Since her March 2020 diagnosis, she was able to take special trips with her children and husband to Hawaii, Sedona and Paris, using the time to create lasting memories with each of her loved ones.
Surviving family members are: husband Chris, four children: Juliette (16) Sam (13) Thomas (13) and Peter (10), parents John and Faye Jaeger, sisters Eve (Robert Kozenko), Tess (Anthony Downs) and Andrea (Brit Wood), aunts and uncles Laura and Stephen Seiffert, LeAnne and Charles Jaeger, Alan and Cecile Graening, and loving cousins Sara and Jeff Johnson, Dave and Becky Jaeger, Kate Jaeger and Joe Robitaille, Sam and Amber Jaeger, Carly and Joe Andenoro, Craig and Chelsea Graening, Alex and Kristina Graening, nephew Robert Kozenko, and nieces Isabel Kozenko and Adelia Downs.
A celebration of Lisa’s life will be held March 18 at 11:00 at St Timothy Episcopal Church in Beechmont with a reception after the service. Contributions in Lisa’s honor can be made to the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System in Bainbridge https://arcofappalachia.org/donations-to-the-arc-of-appalachia or the St Timothy Episcopal Church labyrinth project in Beechmont. https://www.sainttimothys.com/
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good, And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.