Marie Amelia Helen Bernklau | PostIndependent.com
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Marie Amelia Helen Bernklau

Marie Amelia Helen Bernklau of Rifle died Dec. 20, 2002. She was 98.

Mrs. Bernklau was born May 27, 1904, to Wilhelm and Maria Priebe of Nardin, Okla.

She attended school in Nardin and later received a business degree from St. John’s College in Winfield, Kan.



She married Edward Thomas Bernklau of Rifle on Sept. 3, 1930, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Nardin. They then moved to Rifle where they lived on a ranch in the Cache Creek area.

Mrs. Bernklau was a member of the early Cache and Beaver Creek Extension Club and was Colorado State Home Maker of 1950. She exhibited at the Garfield County Fair for over 67 years, missing only one fair during that time. She worked at J.C. Penny and kept books for Bob’s 66 for over 25 years. She always served on the Election Board where she would oversee the polling booths. She worked at the school lunchroom and did office cleaning for one of Rifle’s early doctors.



She was a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Rifle, serving in many capacities during her lifetime. Her father organized the first Lutheran church in Nardin and her father-in-law, Charles Bernklau, saw the beginnings of the first Lutheran church in Rifle.

She loved music, dancing, and teaching her granddaughters how to bake cakes. The first wedding cake she baked was for her son, Paul and wife Carla, in 1957. The last wedding cake she baked was for her grandson, Ryan and wife Katie, in 1997. Many people have enjoyed her cakes for weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.

She was preceded in death by her husband Edward and eight brothers and sisters.

She is survived by son and daughter-in-law Paul and Carla Bernklau, of Rifle; by daughter and son-in-law Darleen and Arnold Mackley, of Rifle; by grandchildren Russ Bernklau of Boston, Randy Bernklau of Fort Collins, Dianne LoPresti of New York City, and Tami Sours, Traci VonDette, Darla Mackley, and Ryan Mackley, all of Rifle; by 10 great-grandchildren; and by one great-great-grandson; and by numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 27, at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Rifle. Pastor Edward Schmidt will officiate. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Rifle Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Contributions can be made to the E. Dene Moore Nursing home or the Emmanuel Lutheran Church.


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