Herman Joseph Berkemeyer, 90, of Lake Village passed away Sunday, October 27, 2013.
He grew up in St. Vincent, Arkansas where he farmed with his family. He later joined the U.S. Navy. After returning from World War II, Herman began farming in Ashley County and moved to Lake Village where he farmed and raised his family.
Mr. Berkemeyer was born on January 24, 1923 in Atkins, Arkansas, a son of Clemens Adolph Berkemeyer and Mary Elizabeth Wiedower Berkemeyer.
His family includes his wife of 64 years, Bernice Sponer Berkemeyer; one son, Ronnie Berkemeyer and wife Linda of Lake Village; and a daughter, Janice Berkemeyer Cummings and husband Johnny of Atkins. He had four grandchildren, Anna Berkemeyer Dunigan Martar and husband Jason, Elliott Berkemeyer and wife Kelsey, Bryce Berkemeyer and Brent Berkemeyer; and two great granddaughters, Gracie Dunigan and Adlee Dunigan.
He is also survived by one brother, Ray Berkemeyer of Morrilton and seven sisters, Marie Beck of Conway, Louise Sponer of St. Vincent, Rita Rehm, Helen Ward and Marilyn Riedmuellar and husband Buddy, all of Oppelo; Paula Patton of North Little Rock, and Pat Stout and husband Ed of Morrilton.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by Bernard and John Henry Berkemeyer and sisters Herman Joseph and Anita.
He lived a wonderful and full life. He was very active in his church, community and state. He was an avid golfer and loved to play tennis. He was a member of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church and 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.
Mr. Berkemeyer had a great love for the land and natural resources. He was appointed to the Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission in 1981 by then Gov. Bill Clinton and served two terms. He served as chairman in 1984 and 1998. He received the Outstanding Conservation District Director Award for his work in Chicot County and throughout the state. He served his local district since 1960. He was also a representative on the Southeast region of the Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D).
In 1992, Bill Clinton awarded Mr. Berkemeyer a certificate of recognition as an outstanding Citizen of the State of Arkansas.
He was also a member of the Board of Directors for Southeast Farmers Association and Federal Land Bank and was one of the Founders of the First State Bank of Lake Village which was later acquired by Simmons First Bank. He then served on the board of directors.
He helped start the Lake Village Country Club. It was there that he spent many hours with his golfing buddies, took up tennis and played well into his eighties and danced for decades. He enjoyed a full and happy life. He loved his family and told everyone what a wonderful family he had.
Pallbearers are Donnie Clark, Jaime Mondragon, Oscar Mondragon, Alexander Vargas, Carl Hayes and Aaron Thompson. Honorary pallbearer is Kathy Clark.
Visitation will be held on Monday, October 28, at Bishop Funeral Home in Lake Village from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Rosary will begin at 7 p.m. The funeral will be held at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church on October 29 at 1:30 p.m. Burial will be in Holy Innocents Cemetery under the direction of Bishop Funeral Home of Lake Village. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, P.O. Box 272, Lake Village, Arkansas 71653 or to Chicot Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 191, Lake Village, Arkansas 71653.