Carl H. Bernklau |

Carl H. Bernklau

Carl H. Bernklau, 88, of Rifle, passed away March 5, 2008, at the Veterans Hospital in Grand Junction.

Carl was born Nov. 2, 1919, at his family home west of Rifle, to Charles J. and Dorothea Louise Leadaman Bernklau. He continued to live and farm there throughout his life.

As he grew to adulthood and continued in the ranch business, he raised livestock and poultry and tilled the soil for numerous crops.

He married Nora Ruth Alexander Nov. 2, 1943, at Messiah Lutheran church in Grand Junction.

Carl was drafted for World War II in 1945, and was assigned to overseas duty in Japan with the 58th Signal corp. He was sent home a year later. After being home one week, Carl was stricken with polio, and stayed nine months in veterans hospitals, and regained his strength while making a living on the family farm.

Carl was very active in his community, belonging to and supporting many clubs and organizations. He was a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Rifle; past president and served 27 years for Bookcliff Soil Conservation District; served as Colorado’s Association of Soil conservation Districts, Director from 1976-1980; and his most passionate calling was Western Colorado water preservation, president of the West Divide Water Conservancy District for 25 years, serving the district for 29 years, retiring in 1993.

He was a man of extraordinary kindness and generosity.

Survivors include son Ted (Linda) Bernklau of Tulsa, Okla.; grandchildren Diana (Travis) Casey of Rifle, Nate (Jessica) Bernklau of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Natalie Bernklau of Tulsa; great-grandchildren Alexandria and Kolt Casey of Rifle; and other family and friends too numerous to mention.

He was preceded in death by brothers William, Frank and Edward; sisters Dora Swigert and Kate Lucht; wife; daughter Connie Hicks; and son Don.

Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 11, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Rifle.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Rifle Veterans Nursing Home, 851 E. Fifth Street, Rifle, CO 81650.

Rifle Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.

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