Robert "Whitey" Berlekamp passed away peacefully at his home in Green Springs in the company of his devoted and loving wife of 62 years, Virginia, whom he married May 27, 1950, in Reno, Nev., and his large and loving family.
His family includes two sons, Rob (Shelly Martinez) Berlekamp and Randall (Barbara Radebaugh) Berlekamp; four daughters, Sue Berlekamp, Sandra (Pete) Crooks, Sara (Mike) Humphrey and Stacy (Sgt. Maj. Sean Spatar, USMC) Spatar; 11 grandchildren, Miranda (Wes Newsom) Berlekamp, Lindi (John) Cahill, Choel (Tim) Harris, Nathan (Amanda) Morrison, Cody Berlekamp, Brianne (Ryan) Webb, Rachel Crooks, Alex Gillett, Torrin Glick, Thomas Glick and Braeden Spatar; 17 great-grandchildren; two brothers, David (Marita) Martin of Port Clinton and Jim (Charlotte) Martin of Fremont; and four sisters, Beverly Stefan of San Mateo, Calif., Connie (Dave) Babcock of Port Clinton, Janet Martin of Perrysburg and Mary Thomas of Fort Wayne, Ind.
Whitey was preceded in death by his parents, Wendell Kermit Berlekamp and Norine Marcha Berlekamp Martin; his stepfather, Joseph Martin; a brother, Jerry Martin; two beloved uncles, John Marcha and Tom Marcha; and numerous others.
Whitey was known to many people through his hard work as owner and operator of Berlekamp Construction for 35 years. He retired from Unilliance Inc. after digging his last pond in August 2006. Whitey also was active in many community organizations including membership in The Green Springs United Methodist Church, Green Springs Volunteer Fire Department for 42 years, school board member for Green Springs Village Schools and consolidated Clyde-Green Springs Exempted Village Schools from 1966-1973, Loyal Order of Moose, Fremont, Lodge No. 1286, Dads of Foreign Service Veterans of the United States, Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Ohio, Lodge No. 427, and Order of Eastern Stars, Icedore Chapter No. 299, serving as past Master of the Lodge and past Worthy Patron of the Chapter, Grand Council of Royal & Select Masons of Ohio, Clinton Council No. 47, The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Ohio, Clyde Chapter No. 90, and DeMolay Commandery No. 9 Knights Templar.
Mr. Berlekamp was a lifelong fan and supporter of athletic teams, learning to love them through participation in sports himself throughout his life. His love began as a member of the Green Springs Bobcats six-man football, basketball, baseball and track & field teams. He graduated from Green Springs High School in 1948. His sports involvement grew to include sponsorship of bowling, softball, basketball and his "Whitey's Women's" mud volleyball teams.
As his family grew and became active, Whitey found himself in the stands for hundreds of volleyball, football, basketball, baseball, softball and track & field events, cheering on his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as Green Springs Bobcats, Clyde Fliers, Gibsonburg Golden Bears, Kent State Golden Flashes, Youngstown Penguins, Syracuse Orange and Eastern Michigan Eagles. He was also a devoted fan of the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians.
Over the years, Whitey was loved by many friends for his loyalty, honesty, enduring sense of humor and strong commitment to serving the community of Green Springs. The Rodger W. Young Post of the VFW awarded Mr. Berlekamp a community service award for his tireless work in assisting the community during and after the blizzard of 1978. In 1992, the village of Green Springs inducted Whitey into the village hall of fame.
Whitey loved to hunt for morel mushrooms in the spring with his children and grandchildren, watch western movies and play cards with his friends and family.
Visitation will be 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, at Horvath Hanes Funeral Home, 211 N. Broadway St., Green Springs. A Masonic service will be at 4 p.m., followed by a memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Clyde Flier football team, Hospice of Memorial Hospital or the National Parkinson Foundation.
Online condolences can be left for the family at www.whhfh.com.