Douglas E. Berkenpas, 46, of Le Mars, died Monday, Dec. 20, 2004, from injuries sustained in a traffic accident north of Seney.
Douglas Edward Berkenpas was born Nov. 14, 1958, in Le Mars, the son of Darrell and Lorraine (Schlichte) Berkenpas. Doug was baptized into the Catholic faith at St. James Catholic Church. He received his education through the Le Mars school system and graduated from Le Mars Community High School in 1977. Doug was united in marriage to Patty Groepper on Aug. 6, 1981, at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars.
He began his 30-year career with Wells' Dairy, Inc., when he was 16 years old, working at the milk plant. For the past 24 years, Doug was a truck driver hauling milk from producers to the dairy in Le Mars. Doug enjoyed visiting with the individual producers. To many he was more than just their truck driver, he was their friend. He was a very conscientious driver, having received safe driving awards for each of the 24 years he drove for Wells' Dairy.
Doug was a member of St. James Catholic Church and often served as an usher for Saturday evening Masses. Doug and Patty were very family centered. They enjoyed camping and boating at Lewis and Clark Lake in Yankton, S.D. On those many outings, Doug mastered his "wash-tub" cooking skills. In the winter months, Doug and Patty and their children, Craig and Mike, enjoyed many snowmobiling trips to the Black Hills.
Around the holidays, Doug often played Santa for many families in Le Mars. During the years, Doug could be seen driving his boys from one lawn mowing job to another. He and the boys also operated a wood splitting business as a family venture with is father and brother, Tom. His work ethic was passed down to his children, the pride of his life.
He was also a member of the Eagles Club, dart league, and the Powder Players Snowmobile Club.
Survivors include his wife, Patty of Le Mars; two children, Craig and Michael of Le Mars; his parents, Darrell and Lorraine Berkenpas of Le Mars; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Jody and Steve Ohm of Le Mars and Linda and John Nilles of Le Mars; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Dave and Kris Berkenpas of Le Mars and Tom and Michele Berkenpas of Le Mars; Patty's parents, Loren and Verna Groepper of Kingsley; four brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Donna and Dennis Hoss of Yankton, S.D., Dianne and Shelton Mack of Mitchell, S.D., Gary and Shyla Groepper of Kingsley, and Dave and Darcy Groepper of Kingsley; many nieces and nephews and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars with the Rev. James Tigges officiating. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. today (Wednesday) at St. James Catholic Church. There will be a 4 p.m. parish rosary and a 7 p.m. Scriptural wake service Wednesday at the church. Funeral arrangements are with the Carlsen Funeral Home of Le Mars.
Pallbearers will be Tom Berkenpas, Dave Berkenpas, Jeff Berkenpas, Del Kellen, Arlan Britt, Jim Ahrendsen, Dennis Hoss, and Shelton Mack.