EL PASO — Richard Irwin Berlin, 88, of El Paso passed away at 5 a.m. Saturday (May 21, 2011) at his residence in El Paso.
He was born Oct. 15, 1922, in Sublette, a son of Irwin and Rose Gorton Berlin. He married Emma Elizabeth Hallberg on June 10, 1950. She survives.
Also surviving are two daughters, Eileen (Jim Boyle) Berlin of Waterloo, and Marlene (David Leckrone) Berlin of Silver Springs, Md.; two sons, Richard (Janice) Berlin of El Paso, and Dennis (Shannon Gauthier) Berlin of El Paso; three grandchildren, Jennifer (Matthew) Jones of Normal, Keith (Kim) Berlin of Indianapolis and Elizabeth Boyle of Waterloo; and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, one sister and one grandson.
A veteran of World War II, Richard enlisted in the Navy in October 1942. One day not far into his service he was issued Marine uniforms, ordered to turn in all his Navy clothes except for his Navy dress uniform, and ordered to report to the Post Medical Detachment, Marine Barracks, Paris Island, S.C. From that time until after the war ended, he was in the medical field service assigned to the Marine Corps, much of which he served in the 4th Medical Battalion, 4th Marine Division, in the Pacific. In early 1946, he was reassigned to the Navy and issued Navy uniforms again. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in February 1946, as a Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class.
Richard graduated from Princeton Township High School in 1940, where he was an outstanding “quarter-miler” in track. He especially enjoyed class reunions with his classmates and attended both his 70th and 71st reunions the last two years. He attended and ran track at Marquette University, Milwaukee, before enlisting in the Navy. After the war, he attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Chicago, graduating in December 1947.
He was a licensed funeral director and mortician; working in Princeton at first, and also assisting part-time for many years with funerals and ambulance service at the Vincent and Froelich funeral homes in El Paso. Richard worked more than 18 years as a switching technician at General Telephone and Electric, retiring from GTE in 1985, and then helped part-time after retirement as a field assessor for the Woodford County Assessor’s Office.
Richard was a member of Grace Fellowship Church in El Paso. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 59 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6026, a former Cub Master of the El Paso Cub Scouts, and had volunteered for Boy Scout Troop 73.
A celebration of life funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Grace Fellowship Church, El Paso. Casual attire may be worn. The Rev. Dan Giese will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home, El Paso, and an hour before the funeral at the church. Burial will be in the El Paso Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the USO, Grace Fellowship Church or Disabled Veterans.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.ruestmanharrisfuneralhome.com.