Elwood Resident: Glenn Berke, age 82 (1931-2013)

Glenn Russell Berke, 82, died August 11th, 2013, at the Elwood Care Center, at Elwood, Nebraska, after battling cancer for 16 years.

Glenn was born the third of four children to Otto and Lydia (Zeeh) Berke on February 10th, 1931, on the family farm south of Eustis, originally homesteaded in 1889 by his grandfather, William Berke. He attended grades 1-8 at the nearby country school Frontier Co. School District Number 43-Elder Creek, then graduated from Eustis High School in 1948. He farmed with his father until he married Elizabeth Brown of Long Pine, Nebraska, on May 26th, 1957 and they made their home on the family farm. He and Beth celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary last May.

He was a lifetime farmer and livestock producer, receiving in 2007 the Ak-Sar-Ben Nebraska Pioneer Farm Family Award. He was proud of his heritage in carrying on farming the homestead and he enjoyed taking visitors to the site of the original dugout.

He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and sang in the choir for many years as well as served on church council. He volunteered over 20 years with the Ag Department at the Eustis Fair and in his semi-retirement years, built houses with Habitat for Humanity and helped make noodles on Fridays at the Eustis Senior Center. He enjoyed his dog, checking on his bluebird houses, gardening and giving produce away to friends and neighbors and any kind of work with his hands.

Preceded in death by infant daughter, Diane, brother Floyd Berke, sister-in-law Esther Berke and brother-in-law Glenn “Bud” Lyon.

Survived by his wife, Elizabeth; children, Debra Berke (John Roberts) of Newark, Delaware, Terry (Sarah) Berke, of Zamora, California and Susan Berke of Lincoln, Nebraska; grandchildren, Daniel, Abigail, Esther, Joel and Jonathan Berke; sisters, Ruth Lyon of Arvada, Colorado and Janet (Dean) Gerken of Eustis and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on Thursday, August 15th at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eustis.

A private family inurnment will precede the service.


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