Mark Berkeland was a quiet man who didn’t like to be the center of attention. Yet, after Mark died at age 56, the victim of a drunk driver, his wife, Kendra, received notes and letters from people she had never met, telling her how her husband had touched their lives during his rounds as a mail carrier.
“A young receptionist at a hair salon wrote to tell me how his smile brightened her day, every day,” Kendra recalls. “He smiled at people all the time. It sounds so simple to say, but he was one of those truly good, good men. He made so many people happy and he didn’t even know it.”
Mark smiled at countless people during his 30 years on the job, and his smile continues to be missed by Kendra and their three children. They miss Mark’s kind and loving ways. The family dog, Stella, was born without a hip socket, and she couldn’t walk normally. Until Stella, a Newfoundland, topped 80 pounds, Mark carried her up the stairs every night so she wouldn’t have any pain.
Mark and Kendra had discussed his wish to be a donor. “He was an avid reader, watched sports on TV, and loved to spend time on our property near Silver Bay where we planned to retire. It meant so much to him to pursue those activities, and he wanted to help others live equally full lives.” Mark was a tissue and eye donor, and both of his corneas were transplanted; so this good, good man continues to touch lives in a most meaningful way.