Joan Meinrath Berkley, 84, Mission Hills, KS, passed away from cancer Fri., Sept. 14, 2012, at her home with her husband and children by her side. Joan was born in Kansas City, MO. She was the daughter of Janice and Irving Meinrath. The Meinrath family originally settled in Kansas City in the 1880s. After graduating from Sunset Hill School, Joan attended Bradford College in Massachusetts. Soon after, she married Bert Berkley, with whom she spent the next 64 years happily sharing their love of family, friends, travel, nature and the outdoors, the arts, and service to the community. Joan was deeply involved and gave tirelessly of her time and talents to a wide variety of civic and community causes, serving on the Boards of Wildwood Outdoor Education Center, the Johnson County Library, Powell Gardens, the Alvin Ailey Dance Camp, where she was also camp photographer for 20 years, and the Center for Practical Bioethics, where she recently served as Board President. Her quiet leadership earned her numerous honors. She was the recipient of the William F. Yates Medal for Distinguished Service from William Jewel College, the Vision to Action Ward of the Center for Practical Bioethics, and the Trudy Award for Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding support and volunteerism in the Arts community. She was also honored by the Johnson County Library as only one of three people to serve on the Johnson County Library Board, the Friends of Johnson County Library, and the Johnson County Library Foundation. She was recognized for her years of service to the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey for her work at Ailey Camp. She was inducted into the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus Inaugural Women's Hall of Fame. Joan's greatest joy and involvement was her family--her husband, her children and grandchildren. She was a remarkable wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She is survived by her husband, Bert, Mission Hills, KS; daughter, Janet Berkley Dubrava and husband, Dan, Fairway, KS; son, Bill Berkley and wife, Maureen, Kansas City, MO; daughter, Jane Berkley Levitt and husband, Jim, Belmont, MA; and seven grandchildren, Will, Daniel and Laura Levitt, Caroline Kelly, Kate and Matthew Berkley, and Matt Dubrava. She is also survived by her brother, Bud Meinrath and wife, Lois of Albuquerque, NM; and sister-in-law, Carol Hillman of Harrison, NY. They all loved her dearly. A memorial service for Joan will be at 3:30 p.m. Tues., Sept. 18, at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City, MO, Public Library in the Truman Forum Room. A reception will follow at The Carriage Club, 5301 State Line Rd, KCMO. In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions may be sent to The Center for Practical Bioethics, Powell Gardens, or Johnson County Library. The family is grateful to the Hospice nurses, and, in particular, to Dr. Mark Myron for his care and attention throughout Joan's illness. (Arr: D.W. Newcomer's Sons Stine & McClure Chapel, 3235 Gillham Plaza, Kansas City, MO 64109, 816-931-7777) D
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Published by Kansas City Star from Sep. 16 to Sep. 17, 2012.
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