Ted Berkland, 80 years old, of Grantsburg, the son of Anton and Tilda (Myli) Berkland, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family at home after a two-year battle with multiple myeloma, on June 20, 2009.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m. June 25, 2009 at Faith Lutheran Church in Grantsburg. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. June 24, 2009 at the Edling Funeral Home in Grantsburg.
He was born into a farming family in Hampden, ND on June 21, 1929. Ted grew up on a wheat farm, but was destined to a life of ministry. He graduated from Oak Grove Lutheran High School (Fargo, ND) in 1947, Augsburg College (1951) and Augsburg Seminary (1954), and he was ordained as a Lutheran pastor in 1954.
His first parishes were Nymore and Aardahl in Bemidji, MN. Bemidji is also where Ted met the love of his life, Carolyn Robinson, who was employed as a nurse for the Red Lake Nation. He proposed to her on the shores of Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis and they were married August 27, 1955 in Bemidji.
Ted served parishes in Clayton (1960-1965), Baldwin (1965-1973), Grace Lutheran in Larsen (1973-1980). He then served as director of Luther Point Bible Camp at Wood Lake near Grantsburg from 1980-1991. He retired in 1991, but continued to serve as interim pastor in several locations from 1992-1998 and as a substitute pastor in numerous locations after that.
During his ministry, Ted authored several books and teacher's guides that helped illustrate his spiritual beliefs. He also used many innovative techniques to spread the word of God, including sermons in song and early use of multimedia.
Ted helped organize the Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity in Burnett County, served on the board of directors for several years, and chaired the board for six years and participated in supplying housing for many families through his efforts. With his wife, Carolyn, he worked at Habitat for Humanity builds in South Dakota, Texas, Arizona and Georgia.
He enjoyed music and singing, and he sang in the Augsburg Centennial Singers. A fond memory of Ted's was performing with the group, one of his originally composed songs, sung in Norwegian, for the king and queen of Norway at the royal palace in Norway in 1994.
Ted enjoyed his nature walks in Burnett County and winters in the Southwest in Arizona and Texas. Ted's love of travel took him and Carolyn to all 50 states, Europe, and the Holy Land.
He was a lifelong poet, and family and friends looked forward to his poems included with Christmas cards each year. He published a book of poetry that is sold at Crex Meadows Visitor Center with proceeds going to Crex Meadows.
Ted Berkland was well-loved and will be greatly missed.
Ted is survived by his wonderfully loving wife and companion of 54 years, Carolyn Robinson Berkland; sons, Philip (Christine) and Bernt; daughters, Ruth and Joe Paquette, and Jillian (James) Rowan; grandchildren, Grace, Alicia, Amber (John), Laura, Kayla, Melanie, Ruthie, Niibin, Donny and Valerie; great grandchildren, John, Aden, Josie, Haley, Avery, Katy and Cory.
He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Ed, Al and Bonnar.
In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated to the following charities: Crex Meadows Wildlife Center, Luther Point Bible Camp, Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity and Regional Hospice.