Rev. Dr. Patricia C. Berkram, at 83 years of age, readily met her Savior Jesus Christ on Dec 16, 2021. She fell asleep peacefully at her residence in Colorado Springs, Colo. At her request, no services will be held.
Born in Jersey City, N.J. to parents, Thomas and Florence Clarke, Pat showed merit in academics early while beginning to display her fierce spirit.
She will be deeply missed by her sister, Faye Golden, from Whiting, N.J.; her children, Donna Gordon of Sumter, S.C., Peggy (Bill) Corbitt of Colstrip, Mont., Jay (Becky) Bergalowski of Colorado Springs, and Bernadette (Bruce) Sloyer of Casper, Wyo.; and her stepchildren, Bruce Berkram of Ledger, Mont., Steve (Edith) Berkram of Cut Bank, Mont., Gail (Dick) Kent of Vallejo, Calif., and Darrol (Carolyn) Berkram of Cut Bank.
Pat and Elmer shared 16 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband Elmer, brother Richie, great-granddaughter Anna, grandson Christopher and her parents.
After marriage and four children, she graduated with an RN degree from Felician College in Lodi, N.J. while recognized for general excellence in all nursing courses. She was employed by Bayonne Hospital until 1973 when she ventured west to work at Indian Health Service in Browning, Mont., to provide a better life for her children.
In time, a blind date led to her marriage to Elmer Berkram, settling on his farm/ranch north of Cut Bank with six of their eight children. While continuing to work in Browning, Pat taught Bible classes in Cut Bank. With the Lord’s leading, she began an amazing adventure in Christian education. Pat earned a B.A. then ordained with a M.DIv. from Berean College in Springfield, Mo. Much hard work earned her the honor of Suma Cum Laude while dubbed a “Maverick,” an apt title worn proudly. With challenging courses of study at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., she acquired a D. Min. in record time, passing the CLEP exams.
She and Elmer served wherever the Lord led them beginning as Professor of Theology at Central Indian Bible College in Mobridge, S.D. They next answered the call to Sundance, Wyo., serving as Interim Executive Director and Assistant Pastor with Teen Challenge Christian Academy. In 2000, this senior couple embarked to Singapore’s Asian Theological Center of Evangelism and Missions as Professor of Bible and Pastoral Care. Many close friendships developed and they were honored to be known as grandma and grandpa, affectionately.
Throughout her years, Pat became a published author with a variety of works—some published in the National Library of Poetry. As found in her writings, “The Lord of creation is my inspiration. He endures me with any talent I may have.”
Again stateside, she served at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Shelby, Mont. Her career would culminate at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge, Mont. as full-time RN while involved in the launch of a pilot program educating inmates who’d earn accreditation in Christian Ministry. All textbooks and supplies were provided through generous donations much of which came from the dear saints in Singapore.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only me but also all who have longed for his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8.