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Harvey Garfield Berkey Jr.

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Harvey Garfield Berkey Jr. Obituary
December 16, 1913 - September 4, 2015 Harvey Garfield Berkey, Jr (1913-2015) Harvey Berkey was born on December 16, 1913 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He passed away on September 4, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. He was the son of Harvey Garfield Berkey, Sr and Minnie Catherine Barnhart and the brother of Wilma Bean (deceased) and Jeremiah Berkey (deceased). Harvey was raised primarily in Detroit, Michigan. He was a state tennis finalist in high school and graduated from Wayne University (now Wayne State University) in Detroit where he was an honor student and president of his class all four years. Upon graduation he was offered full scholarships to Harvard and Wharton Business Schools but family financial exigencies required him to start working immediately after college. After World War II began, Harvey applied to both the Air Force and the FBI. The FBI answered first and he started his training in Washington, DC in 1942. He was assigned to San Francisco as his first field office and was transferred shortly thereafter to Los Angeles where he spent the entirety of his FBI career until his retirement. Harvey was a vital part of a number of high profile cases for the Bureau including the Alessio kidnapping (which generated nationwide press coverage setting a record for a ransom demand at the time as well as inspiring a tour exhibit at the FBI Building in Washington) and the Frank Sinatra Jr. kidnapping. He was commended on numerous occasions by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover for his initiative, skill and devotion to duty. He was the second oldest living former FBI agent at the time of his passing. After his retirement from the FBI, Harvey began a second career as the Director of Corporate Security at Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo, California where he supervised over 400 staff and security officers during a period of significant growth in the aerospace industry. Harvey was blessed with two long marriages in his life. He met Sytha Jean (Bobbie) Roberts while working in the Los Angeles FBI office and they were married on November 19, 1944. They were the proud parents of Kent Garfield Berkey and Douglas Bryan Berkey. After Jean passed away in 1964, Harvey married Alice Nelson in 1969. They enjoyed an active retirement of tennis golf, travel and community service projects. Harvey was a loving husband who took great care of Alice in their Encino home after her health declined and until her passing in 2004. Harvey's last years were spent in California until he moved to Colorado (to live near Doug and family) at the age of 99. He was devoted to blessing and enriching the lives of his extended family. He kept a keen mind, reading several newspapers and magazines a day and keeping up with the latest in current events and the economy. His physical prowess in advanced age was no less impressive with tennis and golf being played into his nineties as well as continuing to drive and date until he was almost 100. He truly enjoyed communicating with his grandchildren and friends on Facebook and email. Family visits and supporting his great-grandchildren's sporting and musical events were a top priority and brought him great joy. Besides his two sons and their spouses, Kent (Mari) and Doug (Gail), Harvey is also survived by Alice's three children, Bob Nelson (Cheryl), Ginger Daines (Larry) and Bill Nelson (Sarah) along with 18 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren. Services will be held Saturday, September 12 at 11:00 AM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 614 W. Foothill Blvd., Arcadia, CA 91006. Interment will be at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, CA. Email Condolences to www.ChapmanFuneralDirectors.com.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 10 to Sept. 11, 2015
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