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Please share your favorite memories/stories in this feed

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 Sharry Caskey
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Posted by: @berkley

Please share your favorite memories/stories in this feed

 

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 Sharry Caskey
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Joined: 3 months ago

Posts: 2
Posted by: @berkley

Please share your favorite memories/stories in this feed

 

It was early summer 1965 carrying mail from the bank, I stepped up to the post office while a well dressed man held the door.  His gentle smile and kind eyes struck me inquisitively as he continued out.  He must be a lawyer, dentist or perhaps a doctor.  I had no idea who the man was but very certain he played an important role in the community.

That December I became employed at Berkley & Company as the all around typist doing correspondence for the President, Sales Managers and R&D Director.  And naturally, I was very eager to meet Berkley Bedell.

A few days went by before the man with the gentle smile and kind eyes walked through the door and passed my desk.  Yes, the man I saw at the post office was Berkley Bedell, Founder and President of a great company that employs hundreds of people in the small community of Spirit Lake, Iowa.

In March of 1966 I became Berkley’s personal secretary.  He had never had a secretary and I had never been one.  He said, “we will learn together, Sharry”.  And we did.  Such a tolerant and patient man. I learned so much from him.  It was an education.  His door was always open and welcomed employees to come in and discuss whatever was on their mind and if he could help, he did.  His objectives for the company and personal life were extraordinary and he lived by them.

We all know Berkley loved to fish.  Every now and then he would bring fresh fish to our home, all cleaned and ready to fry.  My kids still talk about what a treat that was. 

In 1974 Berkley became our Congressman for our 5th District of Iowa, but he always made the effort to keep in touch during those years and even when he and Elinor moved to Florida the winter months. When he was in the area he made time to give me a call or make a lunch date so we could catch up.  We even got a few golf games in now and then.  Of course, he always beat me.

Thank you Berkley.  You’ve had a wonderful impact on my life.  A man with a big heart filled with love and compassion.  He not only was my boss and mentor but a dear dear friend.  I will never forget the wonderful memories.  I love you, Berkley.  God Bless you and God Bless your Family.  

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 Doris Welle
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Joined: 5 months ago

Berk was a kind, gentle but driven person who was a joy to be around. I loved watching the expressions on his face as he sat in his seat at Okoboji Summer Theatre. He responded so enthusiastically to the music and laughed genuinely at the comedies. He was a vital and very important citizen of the Iowa Great Lakes Region and will be missed immensely. 

 

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 Betty and Bob Sneitzer
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Joined: 5 months ago
  • During his years in Congress Berk was active and productive representing Iowa's then 6th district. Serving on the House Agriculture Committee, he was a pioneer in stressing the dangers of climate control. His actions for the farm community and the encouragement of youth in politics were notable. During his earlier years directing affairs at Berkley and Company, he was an ever present friend to everyone. Starting in1966, I was fortunate to have been an employee and friend. Berk's announced goal for the company was "TO MAKE A BETTER LIFE FOR BERKLEY EMLPLOYEES". He certainly did for Betty and me.
  • This is Betty, Berk was a wonderful friend to us and so many people.  We have so many wonderful memories with Berk and Eli. He always greeted us as if we were just the people he was waiting to see when he had a dinner for a couple hundred of his closest friends.  We loved him and we miss him.
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 Jason Quinn
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Joined: 4 months ago

Grandpa: When I was little, too little to remember how old I was, I was fishing with grandpa, yea I know who would have thought, from John Ferman’s dock.  We were bobber fishing and I dropped my pole in the water.  Grandpa stripped down to his skivvies and jumped in the water to retrieve it. I know, most of you are surprised he did not just jump in cloths and all.  Knowing what I know now I am a bit surprised as well. At the time, I remember thinking I really need to hold on to my pole as I should not be making my grandpa jump into the lake. He retried my pole, no reprimand, nothing but kind words, and we got back to fishing.

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 Stephen Weisberg
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Joined: 4 months ago

Trudy and I could not have had better neighbors than Elinor and Berk.  We lived across the hall at Moorings Park in Naples.We moved here from Minneapolis so Berk's Mpls stories of his conversion to the Democratic party by his brother-in-law, Arthur Naftalin, who was to become Mayor, were important to us as the four of us were the only Democrats in the building and it seemed in Naples. 

Berk's memory, leadership, intelligence, kindness, compassion and sense of responsibility for others was unique and he would have thoughtful opinions in resident meetings and conclude his remarks by telling all of us he loved us and our loving each other was so important.  We miss our neighbor Berk.  He reminded us of our responsibilities to each other and the world we live in.  His apartment remains empty for now and it seems fitting for the loss we all feel.  We are grateful for the 8 years of friendship and the life lessons he shared with us.

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