Marilyn Berkhof
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Marilyn Berkhof
  • October 14, 1950 - April 1, 2017
  • Gilbert, Arizona

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Marilyn Berkhof, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend passed away peacefully April 1, 2017 in her home with family by her side.

Born in Mitchell, South Dakota October 14, 1950. She was the oldest of seven children born to Norman and Darleen (Schildhauer) Paulson.

Marilyn began her education in a country school near Alexandria, SD. In January 1960, the family moved off the farm and to Sioux Falls SD. She attended Lincoln Elementary, Axtell Park Junior High and graduated from Washington High School in 1968. She attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis and returned to Sioux Falls to begin her 45 year career with the original Bell Telephone Co.-now, Centurylink. It took the family to Omaha and then to Gilbert, AZ, where she lived at the time of her death.

She married the love of her life, Gary Berkhof, in 1970 at Memorial Lutheran Church. Their three daughters were the center of her life; Kelli (Todd) Ogdie, Kristi Berkhof and Kati Berkhof, all in the Phoenix area. Grandchildren include Kathlien, Kaitlynn, Anastasia, Elijah, Lauryn, Vivian, Kaylee, Marcus, Sianna, Legend, Zevaeh and London. Her first great grandchild is due in May.

Her six surviving siblings include one brother, Ron (Karen) Paulson in Sulphur Springs TX and five sisters, Renee (Arlen) Selchert in Sioux Falls SD, Sandy (Dave) Elofson in Brandon SD, Joy (Terry) Bendt in Sioux Falls SD, Brenda (Steve) Henderson in Haltom City TX and Teri (Mark) Richards in Steen MN.

Marilyn enjoyed her large extended family including the Berkhof and Paulson loved ones. She had 65 cousins and many loving aunts and uncles. She was preceded in death by her parents, two nieces and four cousins.

Marilyn's busy life included hosting events with family and friends, athletic activities, traveling, cooking, gardening, decorating, shopping and creating memories with her grandchildren.

She retired 6 months before her diagnosis of cancer. It was something she faced with quiet dignity, grace, courage and strength. It ultimately took her life but not our wonderful memories of her lively and caring spirit and of a life well-lived.

Marilyn's husband and daughters extend a special thanks to her sister, Brenda for helping them to care for her during the last year of her life.

There will be a second service in Sioux Falls S.D. date to be determined.