The Rev. Gary W. Berlinski, age 54 and beloved wife Karen K. Berlinski, age 55 of Middleville Township died accidently Thursday, June 18, 1998 near Monte Vista, Colo.
Gary William Berlinski was born in Detroit, Mich. on June 27, 1943. He was born again to be God's own child by the "washing of water in the Word" when he was baptized on Aug. 1, 1943 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Detroit. He was also instructed in the Lutheran Catechism and confirmed in the Christian faith at Bethany Lutheran Church on April 14, 1957.
Gary attended Bethany Lutheran School and was a member of the first four-year graduating class of Lutheran High School East in Harper Woods, Mich.
Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois was Gary's choice for his college education and preparation for the teaching ministry in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Karen Kay Gruenwald was born on April 1, 1943 in Denver, Colo. She was born again to be God's own child by the "washing of water in the Word" when she was baptized on April 29, 1943 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Denver.
Karen attended Grace Lutheran Christian Day School in Austin, Texas and was confirmed there. Following her high school days in Texas, she enrolled at Concordia Junior College in Austin, Texas and later transferred to Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Ill.
It was while both Gary and Karen attended Concordia at River Forest that they met. Following graduation, the couple was married at St. John's Lutheran Church in Denver on July 9, 1966.
Following their marriage, they moved to Port Huron, Mich. where each taught at Trinity Lutheran School. Last year, Gary gave the sermon at Trinity's anniversary celebration.
Various job changes took them to Ann Arbor and to Tecumseh, Mich. While in Tecumseh, a son William Laurence, joined the family.
Further job changes took Gary and Karen to Macomb, Ill. and later to Sunnymead, Calif. During the 14-year stay in California, Karen resumed teaching at Moreno Valley Elementary School in Sunnymead and at Washington Elementary School in Riverside, Calif.
Throughout her teaching career, Karen continued her education earning a master's degree in special education. Eventually, she became the resource specialist at Washington Elementary School.
In the fall of 1992, Gary resigned from the position of warehouse manager of Irvine Exhibittree of Irvine, Calif. He enrolled at the Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. and completed its instruction.
On July 29, 1995, Gary Berlinski was ordained into the pastoral ministry at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Middleville Township. As pastor, he faithfully served Bethlehem Lutheran Church until his tragic death this past Thursday afternoon.
During Gary's seminary training Karen held the position of Special Education Resource Director for the Fort Wayne Public Schools. Since arriving in Minnesota, Karen has served Annandale School District # 876 as special education coordinator.
Gary and Karen Berlinski are survived by a son William Berlinski of Aurora, Colo.
Gary is further survived by two brothers: Donald (Elaine) Berlinski of Aurora, Colo. and James (Carole) Berlinski of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; aunts and uncles: Laurence and Mildred Leverenz of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., Kenneth and Lucy Brelin of Alpena, Mich., Amanda Berlinski of Ossineke, Mich. and Thelma Berlin of Ann Arbor, Mich.
He is also survived by godparents, Margaret Phillips of Grosse Pointe, Mich. and Carl Krueger of Sterling Heights, Mich. and many nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces.
Karen is further survived by her parents, Alvin and Irma (Krueger) Gruenwald of Denver, Colo.; and a brother Ronald (Marilyn) Gruenwald of Goodland, Kan.
She is also survived by her nephew, Ross Gruenwald, and aunts and uncles: Frieda Beal, Rosette (Fred) Brinkman, Lenore (Nick) Pheifer, Gertrude (Ray) Powell and Albert (Beverly) Krueger.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents Theodore and Ruth Berlinski.
Funeral services for Gary and Karen Berlinski were held on Thursday, June 25 at 2 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Middleville Township. Pastors Gerhardt C. Michael and Thomas J. Queck officiated and interment followed at the church cemetery.
Friends may call at the church on Wednesday, June 24, from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. A prayer service was held Wednesday, June 24 at 8 p.m.
Ruth Goerke was the organist for the prayer service. Jeanette Beckala was the organist for the funeral services.
The casketbearers for Karen were: Kristen, Mark, Rob, and John Berlinski, Lynn and Bill Cottrell. The casket bearers for Gary were Mike Elfmann, Eldor Hecksel, Bob Neumann, Ken Jost, John Schuster, and Gene Uecker.
Honorary casket bearers for Gary Berlinski were the Revs. Norm Hanan, Peter Holm, David Milz, and Rodney Flohr.
"I Know that My Redeemer Lives," "Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense," "Baptized into Thy Name Most Holy," and "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" were sung as congregational hymns.
In lieu of flowers, memorials for the following will be appreciated.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 7809 County Rd 35W, Annandale, MN 55302-9S46
Concordia Theological Seminary, 6600 N Clinton St., Fort Wayne, IN 46825-4996
Lutheran Hour Ministries, 2185 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, MO 63139-2983
Missionaries Claude and Rhoda Hogue, LC-MS World Missions, 1333 S Kirkwood Rd., St. Louis, MO 63122