Dr. William (Bill) Brodie Berkenkamp died quickly and peacefully at the age of 88 years on March 14, 2019, with his daughter, Christine and son-in-law, Robert at his side.
Bill was born on January 30, 1931, and was raised by his father, William (Bill) and mother, Dorothy on the family ranch, now part of Mesa, Arizona. After high school, Bill went to agricultural school intending to take over the family ranch. However, after marrying his wife, Garlo (nee Freestone), Bill was drafted into the US Army for service in the Korean War. Following his discharge, he returned to university and stumbled upon the microbiology of algae, which led to a life-long passion for science. While attending university, Bill supported his young family by working odd jobs and warehouse night shifts. After graduating from the University of Arizona with his Doctorate in Plant Pathology, he accepted a research position with the Federal Department of Agriculture in Canada. In a decrepit old station wagon, loaded with their possessions, Bill, Garlo, and their children drove to Lacombe, Alberta where he intended “to shoot a moose and a goose” and later return to Arizona for a higher paying job offer. However, in 1972 Bill and Garlo became proud Canadian citizens, and while he did shoot a moose and a goose, Bill nor his family ever returned to live in the USA. During his career, he was internationally cited and served as president of the Canadian Phytopathological Society which published much of his work in the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. Bill was an avid naturalist and outdoorsman. He maintained a keen interest in global affairs, the arts, and advancement in science. Following his retirement, Bill and Garlo moved to their property west of Rimbey where he remained active until his death.
Bill was predeceased by his wife, Garlo; his son, Dale; and his daughter-in-law, Dawn. He is survived by his son, Brodie Berkenkamp; his daughter, Christine (Robert) Leinweber; his sister, Gayl Foshee; his brother, Steven (Carol) Berkenkamp; and his sister, Jean Dearborn; as well as numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, and nieces.
As per Bill’s wishes, his cremated remains were honored at a private family service. And finally, as was his wish, “he went out with his boots on”.
Condolence messages may be forwarded to the family by visiting: www.ofc-ltd.ca
Cremation Arrangements for the Late Dr. William (Bill) Brodie Berkenkamp entrusted to the care of