In memoriam of Richard N. Berends, 12/06/1931 - 04/03/2017

Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home

In memoriam of Richard N. Berends, 12/06/1931 - 04/03/2017

View the online memorial here.

Dick was born on December 6, 1931 in South Bend, Indiana, to Norman and Verda (Scherer) Berends. In 1932, he moved with his parents to Bainbridge Township to assist his mother's parents on their fruit farm. Dick attended the same one room, one teacher Brick School that his mother and grandparents attended. He graduated from Coloma High School in 1950.

Upon graduation, Dick worked at Auto Specialties and helped on the farm before joining the U.S. Air Force in October of 1951. He completed Basic training at Sampson AFB, Geneva, NY. He then completed Aerial Photography Training at Lowry AFB, Denver, Colo. followed by Motion Picture Training at Photo Gp (DOC)MAT's, Burbank, Calif. Dick was then assigned to the Motion Picture Squadron at Wright Patterson, AFB, Ohio.

After discharge from the Air Force in October of 1955, Dick returned home to help on the farm and worked at several places in the Twin Cities including Industrial Rubber, Whirlpool, Clark Equipment, Stouffer Frick Elec. Construction, Benton Harbor Engineering and a brief business venture with Wheel Horse Lawn & Garden Products before settling down at Gast Mfg., retiring in 1995.

In 1963, Dick met the love of his life, Florence Yates, of Hartford, on a blind date, followed by subsequent marriage and three children: daughters Stacy (Edward) Czuba, of Coloma, Lori (Charles) Berry, of Coloma, and son Craig, of Benton Harbor; six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Florence passed away in 1993, after a 10 year battle with cancer.

Dick enjoyed his 20 plus years of retirement traveling, gardening, golfing, monthly breakfasts with fellow Gast retirees, and miles of walking with his black labrador, family, and friends - anywhere and everywhere. Most of all, Dick enjoyed being with his family and enjoying his grandchildren's activities, the highlight being a trip to Alaska with his children.

As per his wish, cremation has taken place. A private service will take place at a later date. Those wishing to share a memory or leave a message for the family may do so by selecting the "Sign the Guestbook" option on the left. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the family.

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