Red Tractor 01

Franklin R Berkey

December 2, 1936 ~ August 3, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


BRISTOL-Franklin R. Berkey, 86, passed away August 3, 2023, at Memorial Hospital in South Bend.  He was born December 2, 1936, in Vistula, IN to Leslie K. & Maxine Haas Berkey.

On August 23, 1969, in Rutland, Vermont, he married Wilmah Goodrich; she survives along with 3 children, Scott Berkey, Erinne Stump-Berkey, & Andrew Berkey. He was preceded in death by his parents, & a sister, Tamara Berkey.

Franklin graduated from Bristol High School in 1954, attended Texas Christian University, Brite Divinity School, Andover Newton Theological Seminary, & Boston College all to achieve his Doctorate in Divinity.

After many years of schooling, he returned to the family farm in York Township, to the land & crops, & animals he loved. Being a lifetime member of 4-H, he & and his son Andrew raised championship potatoes for many years.

  Next to the land, his great love was being a caring, compassionate counselor to anyone in distress.  That was his ministry of choice, whether from his home, a restaurant, church or waiting in line at the grocery store he was always wanting to listen, serve, & help others.

Aside from being a licensed minister he was also a licensed psychologist, working in schools as a guidance counselor at Northeastern University & Ivy Tech, in addition to many years private counseling. His great love for & appreciation of humanity led him into a new advocation that of restaurateur & for 20 years he owned & managed Berkey’s Country House with his family.

He loved all animals but especially cats & he leaves “Mutt” with his family to care for. Cats & birds don’t often co-habitat, but for Franklin they did & he loved watching and feeding his birds.

  Franklin was also passionate about watching news, political events, and reading then discussing all of what he saw and heard, and of course analyzing The Bachelor T.V. series.

He was also a lifetime member of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, serving in many positions over his life as a mentor, leader, teacher, & servant.  

 Finally, his greatest love was his family.  He was the rock, the anchor in a storm, the sunshine after the rain, and was always filled with love, tolerance, kindness, & empathy.  He has “Fought the good fight” and now has journeyed into the light from whence he came. As he would say, “This is the day The Lord has made, rejoice & be glad in it”.

  Per his wishes cremation will take place and a celebration of life service will be held Saturday, August 26th, 2023 at 2:00pm in the Family Center at Bristol Community Church (formerly Bristol UMC) with the Rev. Dr. Douglas Cripe officiating.

  Memorial contributions may be given to the Elkhart County 4H Fair Foundation (17746 CR 34 Suite D Goshen, IN 46528) or Central Christian Church (PO Box 223, Elkhart, IN 46515)

  Elkhart Cremation Services has been entrusted with the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Franklin R Berkey, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Franklin R Berkey?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Franklin's memory.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Franklin R Berkey

© 2023 Elkhart Cremation Services. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility