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Cozad Resident: Elizabeth J. Berke, Age 88

(1929-2021)
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Cozad Resident: Elizabeth J. Berke, Age 88

Elizabeth J. Berke

Elizabeth Jean Berke, nee Brown, age 88, ended her journey peacefully on July 6, 2021.

Elizabeth was born the second of four children to Arthur and Irma (Randall) Brown on July 15, 1932 in the Long Pine (NE) Hospital.

She grew up on the family ranch south of Long Pine. She attended grades 1-8 at country school District 2 a mile away, then graduated from Long Pine High School in 1949. She started school early so she could accompany her older sister, Dee, because her parents told her that Dee was afraid to walk to school alone because of bird tracks. She always wondered if that was true.

She taught country school for 2 years at Buffalo Flats, and a year at Duffy School, then attended Teacher’s College at UNL for two years. She received a provisional teaching certificate and taught Kindergarten at Lexington for two years, where she met Glenn Berke at a square dance club.

She married Glenn on May 26, 1957 and they made their home on the family farm. They celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in 2013 just prior to Glenn’s death in August, 2013.

She was a lifelong learner, from community college classes to crossword puzzles to TV quiz shows Chain Reaction and Mastermind. She was a cook and baker, and many people received “treats” from her. She loved to can and entered in the Eustis Fair and Corn Show every year from 1957 until 2013 and chaired the department for many years.

She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, teaching Sunday School for many years, a member of the Faith Circle, and led a serving group. She sewed quilts every year for missions.

She volunteered with Meals on Wheels in Eustis prior to having the Senior Center and volunteered for over 20 years for Dawson County Crisis Line.

An avid reader, she was a regular at the Cozad Library and exercised weekly at rehabilitation therapy at the Cozad Hospital for over 20 years. Her doctor told her rehab not only saved her life but extended it. Not able to be in rehab the last few years, she rode the stationary bike every night after dinner at Emerald Care in Cozad where she lived the last years of her life.

Preceded in death by husband, Glenn, infant daughter, Diane, sister Deloris Borg, brothers Arthur Brown, Jr. and Donald Brown, and granddaughter Esther Berke.

Survived by children Debra Berke (John Roberts) of Newark, Delaware, Terry (Sarah) Berke, of Zamora, California, and Susan Berke of Lincoln; grandchildren Daniel Berke, Abigail (Dooba) Eibensteiner, Joel and Jonathan Berke, and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials are suggested to Wilson Public Library, Cozad Hospital/Rehab or Dawson County Crisis Line.

Cremation was chosen. A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 16, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church in Eustis with Pastor Kathy Gundell officiating.

Inurnment will follow at Eustis East Cemetery. Berryman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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