March 19, 1933-July 17, 2019
MANKATO — Funeral Mass for Eugene “Gene” Berckes, 86, of Mankato, will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Mankato. Military rites provided by the Mankato Area Veterans Memorial Squad. Burial will be at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis at a later date. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at the Northview – North Mankato Mortuary and will continue at the church for one hour prior to the service on Saturday.
He met his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, at Ecumen Pathstone Living in Mankato after a battle with cancer.
Eugene “Gene” Berckes was born March 19, 1933, in Canby to Henry and Elizabeth (Kraus) Berckes. Gene was baptized, received his First Holy Communion and Confirmed at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Canby. He went to District 38 country school for eight years and then graduated from Canby High School in 1951. After school, he farmed with his father and his brother, Dave. In 1954, he joined the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and served in Germany. He was honorably discharged in 1956 and returned home. He then went to the state of Washington and worked for Boeing Aircraft. In the spring of 1957, he attended Hanson Mechanical Trade School in Fargo, N.D. On June 22. 1963, Gene was united in marriage to Margaret (Peggy) DeWilde at St. Edward Catholic Church in Minneota. In 1971, they bought a farm northwest of Canby in Florida Township and raised their family of six children. They lived there until 2008 when they moved to Willow Brook in Mankato.
Gene was a lifetime member of the Gary S.D. American Legion where he served as commander and Chaplin and the Canby V.F.W. He served on the Canby Hospital Board for many years and was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Mankato. He loved going to auctions, antique farm shows, collecting antiques, and refinishing furniture. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren grow up and visiting about their activities and sports.
Gene was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. We will miss his calm and caring demeanor.
He is survived by his loving wife, Peggy of Mankato; children, Todd (Jessie) Berckes of Canby, Dean (Liz) Berckes of Albany, Tammy (Jason) Yackley of New Ulm, Jerry (Vickie) Berckes of Columbus, and twins, Carrie (Darryl) Stout of Maplewood and Linda (Mike) McDonald of Madison Lake; grandchildren: Amidy, Oliver, and Candace Berckes, Jackson, Cooper and Natalie Yackley, Brianna and Ayla Berckes, Jaad and Lily Stout, and Kirsten, Tanner and Bryce McDonald; brother, Dave Berckes and friend, Debbie Jandro; four nieces and one nephew; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to Ecumen Pathstone Living or Mayo Clinic Health System Hospice. We thank them both for their exceptional care, kindness and compassion.