A memorial service will be held this weekend for Boulder Creek resident Peter Ver Berkmoes who died, surrounded by loved ones, after a long illness. He was 91.
Mr. Berkmoes was born in Elkhart, Ind. and his father worked for the New York Central Railroad. As a teenager he enjoyed building radios. Suspecting that war was coming, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps nine months before Pearl Harbor, in 1941. He served as a radioman aboard B-24 and B-25 bombers in the South Pacific during World War II and flew 68 combat missions. His honors included the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, Mr. Berkmoes worked in the aerospace industry and moved with his family to California in the 1950s. For many years he was employed by Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale and was often at the old Lockheed test facility near Big Basin. Family said he was always proud of work he did on NASA projects for the moon program in the 1960s.
Mr. Berkmoes and his family lived in Aptos from 1967. His wife Lucille (who died in 2002) owned a local cafe and antique shop for many years. After his retirement, he spent numerous summers fishing on Diamond Lake in Michigan, a place he knew from his childhood.
Since 2002, he lived in Boulder Creek near his daughter, Cynthia Lester, a local real estate broker. Mr. Berkmoes enjoyed friends while he dabbled in his lifelong interest in radio.
He is survived by his children Cynthia Lester of Boulder Creek and Ryan Ver Bermoes, an author from Boulder Creek and Greece.
A memorial service followed by a meal will be held at 1 p.m., July 27 at Boulder Creek Community Church, 13090 Highway 9 in Boulder Creek.