Identical twins

Joe and Tony Bering, identical twins, will celebrate their 90th birthday Sept. 22

OXFORD — Identical twins, Dr. Anthony Bering and Dr. Joseph Bering will celebrate their 90th birthdays Sun., Sept. 22 with a party at the Inn at Leola Village in Leola. The afternoon will include presentations to the twins, and an assortment of memorabilia recalling their very active lives.

The actual birthday for the Bering twins is Mon., Sept. 23, but a weekend event is easier to accommodate the large numbers of family members and friends who will join them for this landmark occasion.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the children and grandchildren,” Joseph Bering said.

Born in Lebanon, the twins had two sisters – the late Sister Rosemary Bering and Antoinette Hitchens, now living in Florida. The Berings have always been involved in service to their community. As teenagers, they were the first twins in PA to earn Eagle Scout honors with induction at the same ceremony in 1947.

They both entered the armed forces, with Anthony Bering serving in the Air Force, where he was stationed in Texas, and Joseph joining the Army.

A graduate of Lebanon Valley College and Temple University, Dr. Anthony Bering opened his first dental practice in Hershey, PA after leaving the Air Force. He soon moved to Oxford in 1958, where he became a well known figure in the community, receiving the Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year Award in 2008.

His dental practice flourished, and for many years he provided dental services to the Oxford Area School District. He also supported the young people of the Oxford area by helping spear head the movement that brought football to the school district. He was also involved in the establishment of the Golden Bears junior football program, developing younger players.

Dr. Joseph Bering stayed in the Lebanon area, but he has followed a similar pattern of community involvement and devotion to public health and well being.

After graduation from Jefferson University, he joined the army and was posted to New Cumberland Army Depot near Harrisburg, Pa, and was post surgeon for the last six months of his time there. He returned to Lebanon where he set up his practice in general medicine. He was the team physician for Lebanon High School and Lebanon Catholic High School, and still works with Volunteers in Medicine.

“Dad is put on this earth to heal people,” Joseph’s daughter Sue Purdum said.

Staying busy appears to be keeping both Berings vital as they start a ninth decade. “I like to be active and constantly doing something,” Anthony Bering said.

“The more active you are, the longer you live,” Joseph Bering said.

Both Bering twins have a love for foreign travel and opera.

Joseph is a history buff, and avid reader, who is very active with his church. He attends choir practice, plays the piano, enjoys woodworking, and recently started bowling.

For their birthday celebration, the twins will be joined by Anthony’s wife Connie Bering and their children Monica Hostetter, Kathleen Davis, Christopher Bering, Rosemary Wharton and Andrea Canan. A son, Anthony Bering Jr., is deceased.

Joseph Bering is married to Agnes Bering, They have five children – Dr. Joseph Bering, Jr., Dr. Thomas Bering, Sue Purdum, Beth Johnson, and Erica Wadaman.

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