Dr. Curtis Berklund

FENCE, Wis. – Dr. Curtis “Curt” Berklund, 83, of Greenacres, Wash., passed away peacefully at his home on April 5, 2013.

He was born in a log cabin in Fence on June 22, 1929, to the late William and Olga (Olsen) Berklund. Curt graduated from North Park College in Chicago and attended Michigan Tech University. He later received his doctorate of administrative science from the University of Idaho.

On an ice rink in Northern Michigan, Curt met the love of his life, Adele Mars. Married three years later in 1950, they began their 62 year journey together. The saying “behind every successful man is a strong woman” could have been coined to describe their marriage.

Curt was a ski jumper, college football player, ice hockey player, fisherman, hunter, logger, truck driver, avid trapshooter, rancher, pilot, businessman, public servant, and international consultant.

In 1952, Curt and Adele moved to Cottonwood to log big pine timber in Idaho. Curt owned and operated sawmills in Cottonwood, Elk City, and St. Maries, Idaho. He relocated his family to Maryland when he was appointed by the president to serve in the Department of the Interior, eventually as the National Director of the Bureau of Land Management. After retiring from government service he and Adele moved to Spokane, Wash., where he again became active in public service, including serving on the Spokane County Civil Service Commission, along with many other enterprises.

He was generous and devoted to his friends and family. Curt loved spending time with his wife and family at trapshoots, on cruises, attending concerts and games at the Spokane Arena and hosting concerts at his home. Anyone who knew Curt would agree that he never did anything in a small way. His spirit, dedication, generosity and love will be remembered by all.

Curt is survived by his wife, Adele; six children, Marian (David) Chambers, David (Mary) Berklund, Ruth (Wayne) Geer, Dianne (Clyde) Wilson, Jon Berklund and Rebecca (Eric) Baker; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Curt was preceded in death by his brother, William Berklund; his sister, Jayne Hamel; and his grandson, Colin Wilson.

Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Fence Cemetery.

You may light a candle in remembrance of Curt or leave a condolence to his family online at

The family has chosen the Jacobs-Lundholm Funeral Home of Florence to honor Curt’s legacy of life.