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William “Bill” Berkland 1940-2011

Jun 9, 2011

AMES – A Celebration of Life service for William “Bill” Berkland of Ames was held Tuesday, June 7, at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Ames. Inurnment will be at a later date at Pine Hill Cemetery in Davenport. Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care was in charge of arrangements.

Bill died Thursday, June 2, 2011 of complications from Alzheimer disease at Trinity Center at Luther Park in Des Moines, with his wife and son by his side. He was 71.

Bill was born January 17, 1940 near Cylinder in Palo Alto County, the son of Reuben and Alice (Jacobson) Berkland. He graduated from Cylinder High School in 1958 and Iowa State University in 1962 (BS) and 1964 (MS). He married Melva Lafrenz on June 2, 1963, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Davenport.

Bill began his journalism career at General Telephone of the Midwest (Verizon) in Grinnell. He retired from ISU Extension, Ames, and was a member of the ISU 25-Year Club. He was a writer and editor, and a public relations, marketing, and industrial specialist at ISU where he served Iowans through Extension Information Service, CIRAS (Center for Industrial Research and Service) and Engineering Extension.

He was a member of Bethesda Lutheran Church, Grinnell Jaycees, Ames Dryhole Investment Club, Adelante Fraternity, Story County Republicans, Iowa Association of Business Communicators and Sons of Norway. He served as a precinct caucus leader and Story County election official.

Bill enjoyed performing with the Winter Texan Kitchen Band. He enthusiastically enjoyed family events and served on the committee for the 2000 Berkland Bash, for which he edited Berkland Family Profiles. He also wrote his “Early Memories” in 2003. Proud of his Norwegian heritage, he served on the Bethesda Lutheran Scandinavian Coffee lefsa committee.

He loved learning and especially helping others learn. He was a Sunday school teacher in Grinnell and Ames, a Story County volunteer 4-H leader, and central Iowa 4-H photography judge. Bill was an excellent photographer and enjoyed watching birds, gardening, traveling, and attending performing and visual art events.

Survivors include his wife, Melva, Ames, and son Ross, Des Moines; sisters Lois Lura Klobuchar, Plymouth, MN, and Arlet (Jerry) Johnson, Fenton; brothers Lyndon (Diana) Berkland, Storm Lake, and Eldon (Wendy) Berkland, Chanhassen, MN; half sister Audrey Riley, Stillwater, MN; stepmother Luella (Meyer Holst) Berkland, Webster City; stepsisters Shirley Bowman, Webster City, and Janet (Robert) Kinne, Vincent; stepbrothers Ronald (Sue) Holst, Webster City, and Paul (Katie) Holst, Piedmont, S. D.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother in-law, Richard Lura, and stepbrother in-law Paul Bowman.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer Association, Bethesda Lutheran Food Pantry, Palo Alto County 4-H Foundation, and Iowa 4-H Foundation.

The family offers special thanks for the compassionate care given by staff at Trinity Center at Luther Park and hospice staff from HCI.

Online condolences: www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com