Lester “Mike” Berkel

Lester “Mike” Berkel
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Lester T. “Mike” Berkel, 92, of Belleville, IL, born July 4, 1924, in Belleville, IL, died Saturday, February 4, 2017, at his residence.

Mr. Berkel worked at Stag Brewery in Belleville for 42 years.  A devout catholic, Mike served as president of the St. Vincent DePaul Society, sang in the choir at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and was a lector at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, both in Belleville.  He loved bowling, fishing, and baseball, and enjoyed reading and hunting.  He was a World War II U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

He was preceded in death by three children, Donald, Angela, and Andrew; his parents, John and Jenny, nee Bequeret, Berkel; his step-mother, Lorraine Berkel; and two brothers, Leroy J. Berkel and Melvin Berkel.

Surviving are his wife of 69 years, Virginia “Ginny”, nee VanderPluym, Berkel, whom he married on April 9, 1947;
nine children, Patty (Carl) Bussmann,
David (Ginger Winston) Berkel,
Jean (Bill) Kopp,
Mary (Kevin) Pasbrig,
Jim (Deb) Berkel,
Cathy Berkel,
Joe (Denise) Berkel,
Rick (Katrina) Berkel,
and Susie (Ken) Dinquel;
many grandchildren;
many great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Raymond (Phyllis) Berkel of Fairview Heights, IL;
a sister, Jeanette (Jerry) Reeves of Lansing, MI;
a sister-in-law, Ruth E. Berkel of Belleville, IL;
and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to the St. Vincent DePaul Society or to HSHS Hospice.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Funeral:  A Memorial Mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 11, 2017, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. William McGhee officiating.  Military honors will follow.

It was Mike’s wishes to donate his body to Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Condolences Left For Lester “Mike” Berkel

Aunt Ginny and all my cousins,

I am so sorry for your loss.

Uncle Mike was a good man, and was always there for his brother,Lee,my dad.

My prayer is that you lean on our good God during this most difficult time and he will give you the strength you need.

I wish I could be there, but we are in California for another month. May God bless you all.


Margie (Berkel) Williams, Belleville, IL, 62221

My sympathy is with you and your family. “Mr. Berkel,” as I knew him, was the nicest man I ever knew. We used to meet “secretly” at 6 am when I left for work and he was putting the daily newspaper closer to the neighbors’ doors. He would always make my day. I was always a happier person after talking with “Mr. Berkel.” He was the greatest!!! I will miss him dearly!

Gay Euchner, Belleville, IL, 62226

Jean, I just happened to look in the newspaper and saw the obituary on your father. Brought back memories when we worked at BAC in the Admissions and Registrar Offices. Also had great memories of the Carnival Cruise we took — the first for each of us. It’s been many years ago, but a great friendship lasts in your heart forever. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy. It’s difficult to lose a parent, but like I said above, keep the memories of your father in your heart and he will live on forever. Eva (Link)Kinzel

Eva (Link) Kinzel, New Athens, Illinois, 62264

I am so sorry to hear that Uncle Mike has passed. I have always been impressed with the love that you both had for each other and your strong faith. I pray that this faith will sustain you during this difficult time and be assured that you both will be reunited in heaven.

Love Karen Reeves

Karen Reeves, Bath, MI, 48808

February 8, 2017
I will miss you forever Dad. You taught me so much and if in my life I can be even half the person you were, I will do alright. And here’s a testament to your incredible sense of humor. You were learning to use spell check on computer and this is what you presented to me:

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
miss steaks eye kin not sea
Eye strike a key and type a word
and weight four it two say
weather eye am wrong oar write
it shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
it nose bee fore two long
and eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in its weigh
My chequer told me sew.

You mean the world to me. With Love and respect always.


mary pasbrig, , ,

My Mom just showed me the obituary from the Belleville paper tonight. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. So sorry for your loss. God bless you all with the peace and hope that faith provides.

Juli Anne (Cunningham) Hampton, Wentzville, MO, 63385


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