|
|
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
  • Obituary: Ardine A. Berkvam

  • Ardine Allen Grinager Berkvam – a steady, optimistic, loving, Norwegian presence-Berk, ‘Big Al’, Coach, Mr. Berkvam, Dad, Grandpa Al – Ardine ‘Al’ Berkvam passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, in Northfield, Minnesota, on December 18, 2013. He is survived by his four childre...
    • email print
      Comment
  •     Ardine Allen Grinager Berkvam – a steady, optimistic, loving, Norwegian presence-Berk, ‘Big Al’, Coach, Mr. Berkvam, Dad, Grandpa Al –
        Ardine ‘Al’ Berkvam passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, in Northfield, Minnesota, on December 18, 2013.
        He is survived by his four children, their spouses, and ten grandchildren: Amy (Bob) Pfefferle of Northfield, Andy (Marne) Berkvam of Northfield, Kristi (Mike) Stratton of Minneapolis, and Jill (Kevin) Argall of Minneapolis; Otto, Ingrid, & Anna Pfefferle; Tallie, Rachel, Cassie,  & Lizzie Berkvam; Grace & Lyla Stratton; and Charlie Argall, and his dog Erving. Mother of his children, Susan O’ Radnik of Scottsdale, AZ, survives him as well.
        “Junior” was preceded in death by his parents, Ardine & Alethe (Grinager) Berkvam.
        Al was born in Clarkfield,  on September 5, 1937. He was baptized and confirmed at Clarkfield Lutheran Church. He enjoyed an idyllic childhood as the son of a general store owner and his doting wife. An only child, he grew up in a loving home with parents, grandparents, and a great aunt. He and his close knit gang of buddies played sports, went to swimming holes, rode bikes, went weekly to the local movie theater, and enjoyed a carefree existence.
        His love of sports, particularly basketball, continued after graduation from Clarkfield High School, and he attended, and graduated from St. Olaf College in 1959. He was a varsity starter on both high school & college basketball teams, and for many years held the ‘consecutive free throw’ record at St. Olaf. His teammates are among his oldest, dearest group of friends.
        After graduation, he taught and coached in Delano and New Richland, and then spent 27 years in the Northfield School District as a P.E. teacher; teaching a total of 34 years. He coached football and basketball at NHS, as well as basketball at St. Olaf College. He will be remembered as the ‘other half’ to his beloved teaching and coaching partner at the Northfield Junior High, Jed Dommeyer. Al was a charter member of the ‘Garden Club’ at the Junior High, and was a mentor for many students. His colleagues fondly recall many jokes and comments he made over the years. He was also part owner (along with Susan) of Four Seasons Sports, a sporting goods store in downtown Northfield, supplying  sporting goods and conversation to local folk. He will be remembered for his house painting skills in the summers as well, with his crew of  fellow teachers and children.
        Al enjoyed all things sports-related, especially basketball. He loved watching his children and grandchildren compete in all their various sports and activities. In retirement he found joy in a log home by the lake in Wisconsin, driving folks to and fro for EcoTrans, road trips, beach vacations, paint-by-number masterpieces, antique collecting, reading all manner of books and daily newspapers, going to movies, watching Gunsmoke and Bonanza, daily coffee groups, Nut Goodies, and shootin’ the breeze.
    Page 2 of 2 -     He was a steady, optimistic, loving presence in many peoples’ lives--proud of his Norwegian heritage, lover of simple pleasures. He was loved, and will be missed.
        Visitation will be held on Sunday, December 22nd from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Bierman Funeral Home, 1316 Division St S, Northfield, MN, 55057, and will continue one hour prior to the service (www.biermanfuneralhome.com).
        Celebration of life will be Monday, December 23 at 11:00 (visitation 10:00 a.m.) at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 418 Sumner St. E., Northfield, MN, 55057. Burial will take place at Oaklawn Cemetery in spring of 2014.
         The family would like to thank the wonderful, caring staffs at Northfield Long Term Care Center, Northfield Cancer Care and Infusion Center, and Mayo Clinic Radiation Therapy Facility, as well as Dr. Jose Fulco, Dr. P.J. Flynn, Dr. Timothy McKone, and Dr. Brian McDonald---your assistance with Dad’s cancer journey was comforting. Dad was very grateful for your expertise and support, and wants you to know you are all ‘honorary Norwegians.’ Special thanks to Chaplain Julia Kallman, Pastor David Weeks, and Whitey Aus for your spiritual support.
        Memorial donations preferred to the family, to be used to set up a scholarship fund at Northfield High School. Dad’s greatest joys in life, besides family, friends, and teammates, were his students.
        Funeral arrangements are by the Bierman Funeral Home in Northfield.   www.biermanfuneralhome.com

        calendar