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George Henry BERKHOFER IV Obituary

News Death Notice

BERKHOFER, George Henry IV 74, of South Charleston, died on Saturday, December 7, 2013, at Springfield Regional Medical Center in Springfield, Ohio. He was born November 30, 1939, in Queens, New York, to the late Howard and Mamie (Hunter) Berkhofer. He married his wife of 44 years, Karen Marie Ipsen, on February 15, 1969, in Springfield, Ohio, and she survives. He is also survived by his three devoted children: Elizabeth (Greg) Altman of Springfield, Ohio; Julia (Ben) Sutherly of Troy, Ohio; and George (Samantha) Berkhofer V of Springfield, Ohio; and two grandchildren, Ella Josephine Berkhofer and Joseph Henry Sutherly. George grew up in Chicago, and earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He came to Springfield to work as a classics professor at Wittenberg University, and he had a formal, dignified manner of speaking befitting of that role. At various times, he also worked as a South Charleston police officer, owned a trucking business, and taught at Catholic Central High School. But historic preservation was his defining passion. He was a champion of Clark County's architectural past, both as former executive director of the county Historical Society and current president of the Heritage Commission of South Charleston. He played a key role in placing much of downtown Springfield on the National Register of Historic Places, and spearheaded the restoration of several landmarks in South Charleston, chief among them the town Opera House. He authored "No Place Like Home," an architectural history of Clark County.He enjoyed gardening and wet collodion photography. He was enthusiastic about virtually everything Victorian, whether furniture, food, horticulture or just plain culture. In many ways, he embodied a different time. One of his frequent sayings - from his favorite book, Giuseppe di Lampedusa's The Leopard - was, "If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change." He was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in South Charleston, and had been serving as a member of the Clark County Convention Facilities Authority. Visitation will be from 5pm to 7pm on December 13, 2013 at INGLING WILLIAMS & LEWIS FUNERAL HOME. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11am on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, South Charleston followed by burial at St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Heritage Commission of South Charleston.


Published in Springfield News-Sun on Dec. 11, 2013
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