Donald H. Berkland, 88, of Preston, Minn., passed away Sunday, August 27, 2023, at Gundersen Harmony Care Center in Harmony, Minn.
Donald was born November 7, 1934, in Mankato, Minn., to Sigurd and Marcella (Peterson) Berkland.
He graduated from Delavan High School in 1952. He farmed with his dad after serving in the United States Army from February 1954 to February 1956. Don married the love of his life, Wenonah (Nuesse) Berkland, June 2, 1956. Don enrolled in Mankato State University in 1964, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Education in 1968. He furthered his education at Mankato State University with a master’s degree in 1970, and a sixth-year degree in school administration. He had membership in the MN Association of School Administrators and American Association of School Administrators. He thoroughly enjoyed his 32 years in education. He was a member of the Maple River AAA Hall of Fame. Don often times said, those of us in education have the privilege of “serving the youth of America.”
Don was a member of the Preston Lions Club. He was also a member of Christ Lutheran Church with service on the Church council. He was proud to be an American and proud of his Norwegian heritage. He enjoyed reading, traveling, watching sports and most of all, he loved being with his family.
Don taught for three years, served 15 years as Superintendent of Schools at Delavan, followed by Superintendent of Schools at Sebeka, Maple River and the last seven years at Fillmore Central, retiring in 2002. On his journey, supported by his beloved Wenonah, he enjoyed building relationships with all in the communities they lived in. Don is remembered for his big smile, storytelling abilities, and encouraging can-do attitude.
Donald will be missed immensely by his family, friends and neighbors, but we take comfort in knowing he is with his Savior, Jesus Christ. We know he is with Him, singing “Lead on O King Eternal.”
Donald is survived by his son Richard and Brenda, daughter Bergetta and John Beardsley, grandchildren Adrienne Beardsley, Tate Beardsley and Elise Beardsley, stepgrandchildren Bridget (Matthew) Stob, step-great-grandchildren Emilia and Everett, and Bethany (Joshua) Arndt and step-great-grandson Hogan. He is also survived by his brother Norman of Easton, Minn., sister Linda (Bruce) Beyer of Weston, Wis., and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Wenonah, his parents Sigurd and Marcella, in-laws Max and Beah Nuesse, and sister-in-law Sandra Berkland.
A funeral service for Don will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 1, 2023, at Christ Lutheran Church in Preston, Minn. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Preston and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be held at East Lutheran Cemetery in Delavan, Minn., on Saturday.
Memorials may be given to the Gundersen Harmony Health Care Center in Harmony, Minn., Christ Lutheran Church in Preston, Minn., or East Lutheran Cemetery in Delavan, Minn.
Online condolences may be left at Hindtfuneralhomes.com.