Col. Henry “Hal” Berke

Obituaries in Leavenworth, KS | Leavenworth Times
Davis Funeral Chapel

Col. Henry "Hal" Berke

Overland Park - Col. Henry "Hal" Berke, Jr., U.S. Army Ret., 90, of Overland Park, Kansas, died November 4, after a prolonged illness. Visitation will be 11 a.m., Friday, November 12, 2021 at the Davis Funeral Chapel (531 Shawnee St., Leavenworth), followed at 12:00 p.m. by a funeral service. Internment will immediately follow, at Ft. Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Hal was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, son of Georgette C. and Henry Halvor Berke, Sr. He was very close to his only sibling Georgette Peck and her husband George Peck and their 4 children. Hal graduated from New York Military Academy in 1948 and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1952, earning the VMI academic achievement star. Hal was later inducted into the VMI Hall of Fame.

Hal served with distinction in the U.S. Army during the Korean War in 1952-1953.

In 1954, Hal married Irene Husted. In 1955, he attended the U.S. Army Infantry School for Basic Airborne ("Jump School"), where he became a jumpmaster. From September of 1968 to September of 1969, Hal served with distinction in the Vietnam War with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Unit ("Sky Soldiers") as the Battalion Commander of the 503rd and then as the Brigade Executive Officer.

In 1971, Hal earned a master's degree in counseling and psychology from Shippensburg State University while attending the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The family moved to Leavenworth in 1973 when Hal began teaching at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. In 1974, Hal retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of Colonel.

Among other honors Hal received during his career, he was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal, four Bronze Stars, one with a "V" for Valor, six Air Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, U.S. Army Commendation Medal, United Nations Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

In retirement, Hal owned Dix & Lum's Carpet and Window Coverings in Leavenworth, where he met his wife of 33 years, Carolyn Singleton. They started their relationship by taking Scuba classes together. He enjoyed sailing, skiing, ice skating, and golf; and together they enjoyed scuba diving, bicycling, fishing and kayaking. Hal biked across Kansas seven times, and especially enjoyed a bicycle trip to Mount Rushmore, North Dakota.

Hal was a guy with a great sense of humor and loved to tell stories. Hal loved life. He enjoyed fine food and sometimes not so fine. Hal really liked going to lunch with his friends on Friday. He had developed a distinctive eye for art and painting. He liked to listen to music…from the Piano guys to Pavarotti.

He served on the Board of the Carnegie Arts Center for two terms and was active in First Presbyterian Church and the Leavenworth Bicycle Club

He is survived by his wife Carolyn; and by his first wife Irene and their children Jeff Berke (Lisa), Cindy Phillips (Bob), Gary Berke (Trisha), Beth McIntyre (Robert), Kathy Berke, Jeni Munson (Dan), Terry Nixon (Mike), Jo Ellen Tyrrell; their 17 grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews from the Peck family.

He was deeply loved by many and will be greatly missed.

Memorial donations may be made to the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center, Memory Care Clinic, 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway, STE 2180, Fairway, KS 66205, Attention: Dr. Jeffery Byrnes.

Condolences may be left on Henry's online guestbook at www.davisfuneralchapelinc.com. Arrangements entrusted to Davis Funeral Chapel.

Posted online on November 09, 2021

Published in Leavenworth Times

Obituaries in Leavenworth, KS | Leavenworth Times

Col. Henry “Hal” Berke

Davis Funeral Chapel

Col. Henry "Hal" Berke

Overland Park - Col. Henry "Hal" Berke, Jr., U.S. Army Ret., 90, of Overland Park, Kansas, died November 4, after a prolonged illness. Visitation will be 11 a.m., Friday, November 12, 2021 at the Davis Funeral Chapel (531 Shawnee St., Leavenworth), followed at 12:00 p.m. by a funeral service. Internment will immediately follow, at Ft. Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Hal was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, son of Georgette C. and Henry Halvor Berke, Sr. He was very close to his only sibling Georgette Peck and her husband George Peck and their 4 children. Hal graduated from New York Military Academy in 1948 and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1952, earning the VMI academic achievement star. Hal was later inducted into the VMI Hall of Fame.

Hal served with distinction in the U.S. Army during the Korean War in 1952-1953.

In 1954, Hal married Irene Husted. In 1955, he attended the U.S. Army Infantry School for Basic Airborne ("Jump School"), where he became a jumpmaster. From September of 1968 to September of 1969, Hal served with distinction in the Vietnam War with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Unit ("Sky Soldiers") as the Battalion Commander of the 503rd and then as the Brigade Executive Officer.

In 1971, Hal earned a master's degree in counseling and psychology from Shippensburg State University while attending the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The family moved to Leavenworth in 1973 when Hal began teaching at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. In 1974, Hal retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of Colonel.

Among other honors Hal received during his career, he was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal, four Bronze Stars, one with a "V" for Valor, six Air Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, U.S. Army Commendation Medal, United Nations Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

In retirement, Hal owned Dix & Lum's Carpet and Window Coverings in Leavenworth, where he met his wife of 33 years, Carolyn Singleton. They started their relationship by taking Scuba classes together. He enjoyed sailing, skiing, ice skating, and golf; and together they enjoyed scuba diving, bicycling, fishing and kayaking. Hal biked across Kansas seven times, and especially enjoyed a bicycle trip to Mount Rushmore, North Dakota.

Hal was a guy with a great sense of humor and loved to tell stories. Hal loved life. He enjoyed fine food and sometimes not so fine. Hal really liked going to lunch with his friends on Friday. He had developed a distinctive eye for art and painting. He liked to listen to music…from the Piano guys to Pavarotti.

He served on the Board of the Carnegie Arts Center for two terms and was active in First Presbyterian Church and the Leavenworth Bicycle Club

He is survived by his wife Carolyn; and by his first wife Irene and their children Jeff Berke (Lisa), Cindy Phillips (Bob), Gary Berke (Trisha), Beth McIntyre (Robert), Kathy Berke, Jeni Munson (Dan), Terry Nixon (Mike), Jo Ellen Tyrrell; their 17 grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews from the Peck family.

He was deeply loved by many and will be greatly missed.

Memorial donations may be made to the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center, Memory Care Clinic, 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway, STE 2180, Fairway, KS 66205, Attention: Dr. Jeffery Byrnes.

Condolences may be left on Henry's online guestbook at www.davisfuneralchapelinc.com. Arrangements entrusted to Davis Funeral Chapel.

Posted online on November 09, 2021

Published in Leavenworth Times