Glenn Russell Berke, age 82, of Eustis, Nebraska passed away on August 11, 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 10, 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, and then graduated from Eustis High School in 1948. He farmed with his father until he married Elizabeth Brown of Long Pine, Nebraska, on May 26, 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.
He is 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; 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.
Condolences or personal reflections can be left at elwoodfuneralhome.com
No viewing or visitation as cremation was chosen. Memorial services will be held on Thursday, August 15 at 2 PM at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eustis, Nebraska with Pastor Harold Lauren, officiating. A private family inurnment will precede the service.
Memorials may be given in his name for future designation. Elwood Funeral Home of Elwood, Nebraska is in charge of the arrangements.