Robert E. Berk
October 9, 1923 ~ September 15, 2015
Niles, MI - Robert Edmund Berk, age 91, entered into Heaven on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 2:45 pm. Robert was born to Edmund and Sophie (Repel) Berk on October 9, 1923 in LaPorte, IN.
On February 4, 1943, Robert gave of himself and proudly served his country in THE ARMY MILITARY POLICE with an expertise in Fingerprint Analysis during WW II. He was honorably discharged in November 1946.
On August 14, 1948 Robert married the love of his life, Betty Jean Wood. They lived in the same house on Twyckenham Drive in Clay Township in South Bend, IN, where they raised their three children. Together they enjoyed 50 years of marriage until Betty’s death on November 30, 1998.
Robert “Bob” was an accomplished author who published a book in 1974 titled “How to Avoid Talking Yourself Out of Sales”. His book was used in college business courses. Robert had a successful career writing articles for many different magazines and newspaper editorials across the country. He was well respected and regarded as a highly intelligent individual who had a vast knowledge of the English language and was sure to correct you, no matter what; in anything! This classic trait continued even as his dementia and Alzheimer’s set in fifteen years ago. There wasn’t anything that got past this feisty man!
Robert was an avid Catholic. He and his wife Betty were founding members of St. Therese, Little Flower Catholic Church in South Bend, IN. Robert was a successful businessman as well, as he was the owner of Berk Pharmaceuticals.
Robert was devastated when his wife Betty passed away. He moved in with his son and daughter-in-law, who took amazing care of him even after his son’s untimely death.
Robert was predeceased by his adoring wife, Betty Jean (1998); his only son, Thomas E. Berk (2010); and his beloved daughter, Jacqueline Berk Hans (2013). He is survived by his daughter in-law, Karen Berk Jordanek and his daughter, Kate (Dan) Bergman. He is also survived by his grandchildren from his late daughter Jacqueline, Heather Hans Allman, Krista Hans Hartman, Justin Hans and Ryan Hans, and his grandson Joshua Berk (son of Thomas). Also surviving are Kate’s children, Jeremi Bergman, Jenna Bergman and Zak Bergman. He is also survived by nine great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law; a niece and nephews.
Funeral services for Robert will be at 2:00 pm Saturday, September 19, 2015 in the Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN 46635. Rev. Thomas Shoemaker will officiate. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger, where Robert will be laid to rest next to his wife Betty. Friends may visit with the family for one hour prior to services on Saturday in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation for research in honor of his great-grandson Tyler Allman, who suffers from this terminal disease. You can donate directly online at www.beyondbatten.org/tylerallman or by mail at Beyond Batten Disease Foundation, PO BOX 50221 Austin, Texas 78763. Donations can also be sent to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 8th Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Online condolences may be left for the Berk family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.