1936 – 2019
Woodstock – Paul Daniel Berk, Jr., 82, died Thursday (February 7, 2019) at his home in Woodstock after an extended illness. He died peacefully, surrounded by his family.
Paul Jr. was born July 18, 1936 in Fullerton, PA and was the son of the late Paul and Alda (Meckes) Berk. In 1941 when Paul Jr. was five years old, the family moved to Connecticut when his father Paul D. Berk Sr. accepted a position as an experimental test pilot for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft. Paul Jr. resided and went to school in West Hartford and Wethersfield where he graduated from Wethersfield High School in 1954. He excelled in athletics in his student years and went on to letter in soccer for the University of Connecticut Huskies. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from UConn in 1960 and was a lifelong Huskies fan.
Paul Jr. also shared his father’s love for flying and enlisted in the US Air Force officer candidate school program as a pilot candidate in 1958. Paul Jr. loved flying with his father, and he talked fondly about the times they would fly to Long Island to land and have a cup of coffee and then take off and navigate their way to any other New England spot they wanted to visit that day before returning to Brainard Field.
Paul Jr. went on to build a long and successful career as a human resource professional, working for several large corporations until his retirement.
Mr. Berk enjoyed raising his family in the quiet corner of Woodstock and was very involved in his boys’ activities, including a youth basketball program he co-founded as well as the Woodstock Little League. He delighted in watching his boys and grandchildren build things and compete in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in life in general. He loved working on outdoor projects with his family. Paul was a longtime member of the Woodstock Lions Club and he also re-certified as a pilot and flew with the 43rd Flying Club. In his retirement years Paul enjoyed occasional cruise vacations with his wife Kathy and he especially treasured time shared with his loved ones at the family cottage in the Berkshires.
Mr. Berk is survived by his wife, Kathleen (Lannon) of Woodstock; three sons, Daniel and Jennifer Berk of Woodstock, Brian and Deborah Berk of Wake Forest, NC, and William and Andria Berk of Sherborn, MA; two sisters, Eileen Perry of Simsbury and Shirley Vallieres of East Hampton; a brother, Gary Berk of Portland. He also has six grandchildren, Patrick and Trisha Berk of Woodstock; Trevor and Dylan Berk of Wake Forest, NC; and Eddie and Charlie Berk of Sherborn, MA.
Visitation will take place at the Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church St. in Putnam on Sunday February 10th, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Monday, February 11th, at 1:00 p.m. at the Gilman Funeral Home, followed by burial at the Elmvale Cemetery on Roseland Park Road in Woodstock. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or the Shriners Hospital for Children, 110 Conn Ter., Lexington, KY 40508. For memorial guestbook please visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.