K. Clair Berkley, 86, of Hiawatha, formerly of Morrill, left his earthly home for his heavenly home early Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
Clair was born on the family farm near Hamlin January 11, 1933, the son of Dale and Dorothy Kimmel Berkley and has lived in the Brown County area his entire life. His mother died when he was three and a half years old and his sister Janice being six weeks old, so they were raised by their grandparents Maurice and Ione Berkley. He attended country school near Hamlin through the eighth grade prior to graduating from Hamlin High School in 1951. Clair had various jobs throughout his working career: he farmed the Berkley farm, worked at the Hamlin and Morrill Elevators, even sold insurance. Clair was best known to have delivered bulk fuel and Standard Oil Products in the area, working for Bill McNett, for 15 years. It was while delivering these products he became known as “Bubble Gum Man.” A few years later, he started delivering bulk products for Berwick Oil Co., based out of Bern/Sabetha area. He retired in 1998 after 15 years of service.
Clair was a member of the Eternal Hope Worship Center in Hiawatha, served as a volunteer fireman with the Morrill Fire Dept., served several terms as mayor for the city of Morrill, and on the Morrill Cemetery Board for several years. Clair loved his wife, his son, especially his grandchildren. We also have to mention that Clair was an avid KU Basketball Fan!
He married Linda Blecha on November 2, 1966, in Humboldt, Nebraska. They made their home in the Morrill area, and after she retired, they moved to Hiawatha in 2012. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include a son Travis Berkley (Jill) of Lawrence, two sisters: Janice Roush of Sabetha, Billie Jo Ramsier of W. Palm Beach, FL., brother Gary Berkley of Belleville, IL; three grandchildren: Kyle, Ethan, and Nicole.
He was preceded in death by his parents, step-mother Mildred, grandparents Maurice and Ione Berkley, Trone, and Edna Kimmel.
A Celebration of Clair’s life is planned for 11 a.m. Friday, October 18, at the Eternal Hope Worship Center in Hiawatha. Pastor Rich Lehmkuhl will officiate. Cremation will follow the service with private family inurnment at the Morrill Cemetery.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Eternal Hope Worship Center or Morrill Fire Dept., sent in care of the funeral home, 124 S 7th St., Hiawatha 66434.
Friends may call at the funeral home after 12 noon until 7 Thursday evening at the funeral home. The family will meet with friends one hour prior to services at Church.
A special message or note of comfort may be left at www.chapeloaksfuneralhome.com