Mitch Van Berkel was born on September 21, 1924 to Tony and Nellie (Haverhals) Van Berkel. He was the oldest of five children.
On November 29, 1945, Mitch married Irene Obbink in Hawarden, Iowa. After their marriage, they lived on an acreage near Sioux Center, Iowa, to help his parents until Mitch and Irene moved to a farm near Hawarden, Iowa, in 1947. In February of 1960, they moved to a farm near Hardwick, Minnesota and continued farming there until retirement in 1984, when they moved to Edgerton.
Mitch was a member of First Christian Reformed Church, and served as an elder and taught catechism in the church. He also was involved with Prison M-2 Ministry, Gideons, and Wheelchair Ministry. He helped repair wheelchairs for Hope Haven for over 20 years. They were sent to disabled people all over the world.
Faith, family, and farming were Mitch’s priorities. He also enjoyed meeting for coffee with many friends. At the end of the day, he loved going for a drive through the country. He also loved attending his children's many activities.
Mitch was a quiet man with a generous spirit. After losing two children and losing his arm in a farm accident at the age of 50, he continued to focus on the things that are truly important. In his retired years, he continued field work for other farmers, and was a weed inspector for 6 townships with his wife as his secretary/bookkeeper. He also provided transportation for many friends to get to doctor appointments with his vehicle, lovingly referred to as the "Van Berkel transport".
Mitch loved playing shuffleboard in the Edgerton City park and won many trophies, which he handed down to his great-grandsons.
Mitch is survived by his children; Ron (Cheryl) of Erlanger, KY, Arnie (Candyce) of Visalia, CA, Arlene (Larry) Punt of Edgerton, MN, Linda (Scott) Belgrave of Crestwood, IL, Gerry (Lisa) of East Bethel, MN, and Carol of Villa Park, IL; sister Adelene Brenneman of Sioux Center, IA; 16 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Irene, son Harry, daughter Nelva Dubbe, sisters Pearl Altena and Mary Ann Schut, and brother Seip Van Berkel.
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