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James Walden "Jim" Berkley
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Birth: Sep. 9, 1953
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Jan. 24, 2011
Blue Mills
Jackson County
Missouri, USA

James "Jim" Berkley, 57, of Blue Springs, MO left his home peacefully on Jan. 24, 2011 to be with his heavenly Father.

Chicago, IL (Homewood) was Jim's hometown where he was born to Carol A. and Donn A. Berkley on Sept. 9, 1953. He attended Homewood Flossmoor High School in S. Chicago where he resided until he left for Drake University in Des Moines, IA graduating in 1975 with a degree in political science. He retired in 2001 from his St. Louis-based company, Berkley and Associates, as a self-employed manufacturers' rep. of original parts, a career he enjoyed from 1975-2001 at which time he moved to Blue Springs. Among the 100-150 principals Jim represented, he was especially honored to have the relationship he appreciated with Hallmark Cards and Milbank Manufacturing, including the friends to whom he grew close over the years.

Jim is survived by his wife Karen (Ingolia) Berkley, two adult children Lauren Ocenas, Charlotte. NC, Matt Berkley, St. Louis and their mother Shayla Berkley, Ballwin, MO, Matt Ocenas, son-in-law, 1 granddaughter, Elise, 1 grandson (to arr. in April), Charlotte, NC. Other family members include two step daughters, Ashley Ingolia and Nicole Ingolia-Hale, her husband, Brendon, 1 grandson, Payton, and 1 granddaughter, Leigha, all of Lee's Summit.

Jim's desire was to be cremated with remains to be spread in the Meramec River. Both families plan to celebrate his life with small family memorials at later dates. Many family members and friends were not aware of Jim's bipolar/ADHD double diagnoses; therefore contributions to the Nat'l. Alliance on Mental Illness (directed to bipolar & ADHD) are suggested.


Jim enjoyed a variety of activities beginning early in his life. He was an avid reader interested particularly in political fiction, history (ancient-present day), and current political non-fiction. His days at Homewood Flossmoor High were spent swimming on the swim team, a year or two playing football, and working summer's life guarding at the pool. A close bond with his maternal grandparents grew throughout his younger years as he spent many enjoyable hours with them at home and traveling with them on vacation to Florida often, a practice he continued with his family through his adult life.

During his college years at Drake University, he joined Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, making life-long friends and unforgettable experiences. Hunting in the Winterset area was among his activities, too, long before it became a popular tourist site with the book and movie, The Bridges of Madison County. He met and married his college sweetheart, Shayla O'Brien of St. Louis to whom he was married 26 years.

While in St. Louis, Jim was a member of St. Albans Country Club playing golf as often as he could. Until last year, Jim was hitting balls at 40 Hwy. Golf Range (between Independence and Lee's Summit) hoping to get his game back and play once again.

Hunting and fishing were certainly a huge part of his life with several trophies worthy of being taxidermies. Every year he took a trip with his buddies to S. Dakota to hunt pheasant, at least one maybe more to the Meramec River to fish or hunt turkey with his late friend, Doug Fuller, and the White River close to Flippin, Arkansas for trout fishing. He had the pleasure of fishing and/or hunting in Wyoming, Mexico, Canada, Texas, as well as Missouri. Another sport he loved at one time was skeet shooting at which he scored very well. He also enjoyed watching football and golf.

Closer to home, gourmet cooking peaked Jim's interest with favorites like Champagne Veal and Chinese Eggrolls (from scratch), but always experimenting with new dishes to try out on someone who was as adventuresome as he was. Gardening was also a hobby he enjoyed (he didn't like he digging and weeding); he loved the flowers and the fruits of his labor. And then it came to cards—Jim liked to go to Ameristar once a month. His game use to be Texas Holdem' until it became too popular. In fact, he won a tournament several years ago (about $2,200). He usually played blackjack and poker; games at which he knew he could win. He always left the table breaking even or winning something, sometimes better than something (he called them party notes ($100 chips).

On any afternoon, Jim could be found on the sofa watching an old movie with Murphy, his yellow tabby perched above at his feet and Piper, Karen's mini-Yorkie, snuggled closely to his body. He was a romantic and sentimental-type guy who loved to dance to the old crooners—Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett, but was still crazy about the music of his high school and college days. If the TV guide listed Casa Blanca or Dr. Zhivago, Jim always tuned in.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is suggested for contributions. If you access the website to contribute, the family will not be advised of your gift and will not be able to acknowledge your generosity in honor of Jim. The address is: NAMI Contributions, 406 W. 34th St., Suite 603, Kansas City, MO 64111

Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Specifically: Remains to be spread in the Meramec River
Created by: Betty
Record added: Feb 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65971871

- R I P
 Added: Aug. 8, 2013

- R I P
 Added: Aug. 8, 2013

- Betty
 Added: Feb. 21, 2011

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