Esther Mercedes Berkey Mork went to Heaven on Nov. 9, 2011, at home in Crosslake surrounded by her family. She was 96.

Esther was born Nov. 10, 1914, in South Minneapolis to Louis and Ottilie (Wolf) Berkey. She grew up on 60th and Nicolett with sisters Ruth and Virginia and brothers John and Bob. She graduated from Washburn High School and Minneapolis Business College.

In 1942 she married Cal Mork from Dawson, Minn. They were married 66 years until his death in 2008.

Esther will always be remembered for her adventurous spirit and her zest for life. The stories are many, but a few family favorites include skinny dipping after dark at Lake O'Brien, the annual Berkey Sarame Feed (a 60 year tradition), her daily cold shower, her penchant for enthusiastic political and religious "discussions", and showing up to a dinner party at the age of 94 in a float plane. Her "seat of the pants" character and "quirkiness" endeared her to anyone she met and led to many unusual adventures throughout her life. Her favorite things included coffee parties, reading, braiding wool rugs, gardening, battling squirrels/deer and other garden varmits, Women's Club, Campfire Girls, Billy Graham and Andy Rooney, Wheel of Fortune, bird watching, quilting, "two fingers" of beer, Java (the family lab), playing cards, candles with dinner, and boat rides. Esther's strong faith guided her every step. She always said "Seek ye first the kingdom of God" and it was under the direction of this verse for which she lived her life. The day before she passed she recited (from memory) all the books of the Old Testament for her great-grandchildren.

Esther will be missed by her two daughters, Priscilla and Sarah, son-in-law Larry, four grandchildren, Matt, Jeff, Ginny, and Mary and 10 great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Camp Knutson, a summer camp for children with disabilities and special needs located in Crosslake, Minn.

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