H. Wayne Berens ’54
Wayne Berens, Hope College class of 1954 passed away Saturday, September 19, 2020. The son of the Reverend George Berens (Hope College, 1932) and his wife, Doris. Brother to Evelyn Losee (Hope college, 1956). Wayne graduated from Greenwich Central High School, Greenwich, NY. After graduating from Hope College, Wayne served in the United States Army from 1954-1956. He then earned his MA in History from Rutgers University. In 1958 he married Harriet Olson with whom he shared 62 years of marriage and 3 children.
Wayne was an active member of the Ewing Presbyterian Church and served several terms as an Elder and Deacon as well as devoting much time to several committees of the church. He was an avid skier and an accomplished woodworker. Wayne was a meticulous builder of large model radio-controlled airplanes that he flew as a member of the Washington Crossing Radio Control Flyers Association. His replica of the plane flown by former President George H. W. Bush during WW2 now resides in the museum at the Willow Grove Naval Air Development Station in Horsham, Pa.
Wayne began his career as a history teacher. While teaching in Ewing, N. J. he began taking small groups on tours of Europe during the summer breaks. He then founded Revere Travel which grew over the years as a result of Wayne’s widening reputation among clients and peers as an honest, knowledgeable businessman to become the largest privately-owned travel agency in the State of New Jersey with 22 locations and 350 employees.
In 1992 he was honored as Travel Agent of the Year by the American Society of Travel Agents at the World Travel Congress in Cairo, Egypt. He was also invited to be a member of many travel industry advisory boards. Wayne served on the Austrian Tourist Board, the Pan Am Advisory Board, the Holland-American Society, Alamo rent a car, and the American Express Representative Advisors Network. He advised the very prestigious Tauck Tours and was also Chairman of the Scheduled Air Services Committee, Mercer County Airport. Wayne served one term as President of the Institute of Certified Travel Agents, the accrediting organization for American Travel Agents.
Wayne sold Revere Travel to the travel division of American Express. He was Vice-President in the travel division in the “Tower” in New York City and was assigned to design and implement a strict travel policy to be followed by all 17,000 employees. He also assisted in special events and was able to travel with dignitaries such as Elizabeth Dole, Margaret Thatcher, President George H. W. and Barbara Bush, Colin Powell, and Queen Noor. While at AMEX he became the liaison between the travel division and ARC, the airline reporting corporation, D.C. He remained in that position until he retired in 2004.
An enthusiastic supporter of Hope College, Wayne was delighted to discover Hope grads in his travels that covered all 6 continents and he frequently encouraged high school students to attend Hope College. As a true airline enthusiast Wayne was determined to have a major airline flying from the Mercer Country Airport in Trenton. He was successful with U S Air and he watched over their flights daily at dawn!!
Wayne is survived by his wife Harriet, daughters Krista Smart, Dr. Mari Berens VMD, and Loren Ciccone (Matthew), two grandchildren Julie Marie and Joseph Wayne, sister Evelyn Losee and several nieces and nephews.