Services planned Feb. 18 for Dennis Berkeley

Former Wrangell resident Dennis Robert Berkeley, 76, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on Dec. 7, 2022, in Sitka, his family reported. He was surrounded by family and friends, and was visited by many close friends and family during his final stay in Sitka.

A service will be held on his birthday, Saturday, Feb. 18, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Wrangell.

He was born Feb. 18, 1946, in Petersburg, and grew up in Kake, where he developed his love for commercial fishing and music. He spent many of his summers purse seining and halibut fishing. He also developed his singing voice in the local church choir as a young boy and young man. "He always talked fondly of playing with his brother JR Berkeley and close friend Ben Jackson," his family wrote.

He had a strong connection with being on the water, whether it was commercial fishing, sport fishing or hunting, and loved being on the boat with family and friends. Countless weekends were spent out on the water. "Anyone who knew Dennis knew that he would often plan boat rides and trips with many of his friends. He could often be found with family in tow in the boat with Miguel Jimenez, Ed Rilatos and Morgan Joseph."

After graduating from Kake High School in 1964 he attended Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka. An avid musician he could be found playing with the "Bumble Bees" around Sitka and at local events. "Playing in a band and jamming with friends were some of his greatest memories and times. Music opened up much of his life to many friends throughout the state."

After retiring from the state of Alaska, he could often be found singing karaoke or playing with friends. "It was a passion of his and he loved sharing it with good friends and family," his family wrote.

It was during his time playing music in Sitka that he met his wife of 51 years, Darlene Ann Gilbert. They were married May 31,1967, in Kake, and had two children, Denise and Jon, whom they raised in Wrangell.

Dennis was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Darlene Berkeley; his mother and father, Harold Berkeley Sr. and Gloria Paul; and younger siblings Winnie Williams (Wendell Williams), Les Berkeley (Sue Berkeley), and Harry Berkeley Jr.; and nephews Clifford Adams Jr. and Matthew Adams.

He is survived by his children Denise Berkeley-Salter (David Salter) and Jon Berkeley (Karen Mehl); his sisters Marian Adams and Arne James; brother-in-law Clifford Adams Sr.; and younger brother Thomas Berkeley (Deborah). He is also survived by his grandchildren Travis, Shelby, Rachel and Zach; and nieces and nephews Rosita Madura (Tim), Suzette Carlson (Curtis), Beverly Anderson (Lonnie), Doreen Hopper, Donald James Jr., Dale James, Delphine James; and grand-nieces Jessica Andrews (Kelly), Leann Welch (Kyle) and Jeannette Akin (William).

 

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