Remembering Joan Berkley

Last week, I lost a friend and Kansas City lost one our best community advocates in Joan Berkley.

The memorial service for Joan was remarkable — but then, you kind of knew that it was going to be because Joan and Bert Berkley and their family are so very special.

All of Joan’s children and grandchildren spoke so warmly and eloquently about her as a mother and grandmother. The common theme that emerged from listening to the eulogies was that the two most important gifts that Joan gave to each of her children and grandchildren were unconditional love and time. She always had time to talk, to listen, to give an opinion, to teach, to explore, to laugh, to challenge, to love.

One of the speakers used a quote when describing Joan that I thought was simply perfect: “The benefits you receive are the debts you owe others.”

Joan spent most of her entire life caring for her family, friends and the social causes that she held dear to her heart. She was there for people in good times and in bad. She was the same person in a community meeting as she was at home: loving, direct, a good listener and very committed to making a difference.

Under Joan’s picture in the memorial brochure were the words that give you a glimpse of how this wonderful lady lived her life:

Care deeply.
Give freely.
Think kindly.
Act gently.
Be at Peace with the Earth.

We mourn the loss of this inspiring, caring and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend.

Rest in peace, my dear friend Joan!


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HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at jsykes@hcfgkc.org.

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