Maryann Berkshire, 87, of Royal Center passed away at 10:22 a.m., Monday, May 4, 2020 at Franciscan Health Hospital in Lafayette.
Maryann loved reading her bible, fishing, family vacations, Pioneer football, storytelling and watching the Golden Girls. Most of all regardless of how you became family, once you were family, she loved you with all her heart.
Born on June 13, 1932 in Royal Center, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Eileen (Morter) Small.
Maryann was a proud graduate of the Royal Center High School class of 1950 and remained active with her classmates throughout her lifetime.
On June 18, 1950 she married Dean Dee Berkshire. Together they started their family and raised four children, all who survive: Connie (Gene) Spradling of Royal Center, Deanna (Steve) Crispen of Logansport, Brian (Valerie) Berkshire of Kewanna and Steve (Rita) Berkshire of Logansport.
Education was a priority for the couple and they were active participants in their children’s school activities and sports, serving with the PTA and coaching youth activities.
When their youngest child started school, Maryann returned to the workforce as a United States Postal Service employee and rose to the position of Postmaster serving Lake Cicott and then Royal Center. She retired as Postmaster in Royal Center on September 2, 1992.
She and Dean enjoyed their retirement years filled with the love and activities of their grandchildren who adored them and eventually gave Maryann the nickname “Gramcracker” because she was so sweet. Many summers found the entire family traveling to northern Wisconsin or Michigan for a week of fishing, playing cards, and campfires. Maryann was an avid fisherwoman and insisted on having her old green fishing pole no matter what. She documented each trip in a notebook with details on the weather each day and who caught the biggest fish. She loved maps and spent many hours planning each trip with maps taped on the kitchen wall. Her grandchildren survive and cherish those memories: Angela (Jeff) Manges of Royal Center, Patrick (Kendra) Berkshire of Lowell, Emily (Ryan) Slavens of Logansport, Alyson (Bonnie) Brannen of San Jose, CA, Eric (Kayci) Berkshire of Greenfield, Melissa (Mark) Lowry of Logansport, Matthew (Upeksha) Berkshire of Indianapolis , Lacey Berkshire of Indianapolis, Lane (Catie) Berkshire of Lebanon, Dylan (Megan York) Berkshire of Logansport and Alexa Berkshire of Logansport, Linda Hiatt of Logansport.
Dean and Maryann shared their joy in the arrival of their first great-grandchild in March 2005. The family was soon devastated with the loss of Dean on December 9, 2005 and wondered how Maryann would go on without her life partner of 55 years. Those fears were unfounded because Maryann was a strong woman with a love of the Lord. She was devoted in her faith and a member of the Royal Center United Methodist Church where she served in many roles and participated in her circle group and bible study. Her faith and her family helped her heal and find joy.
Maryann would go on to celebrate the arrival of many more great-grandchildren. She loved and enjoyed them deeply and they filled her life with love, joy, and purpose. Christmas at her house only grew with the addition of each great-grandchild and more Christmas stockings on the wall. Nothing pleased her more than seeing her home filled with her family. She is survived by great grandchildren: Drew, Mia, and Briggs Manges, Aiden, Ava, Gabriel, and Elijah Berkshire, Berkley and Graham Slavens, Wyatt Brannen, Lucy Berkshire, Camryn, Carson, Cassidy and Claire Lowry, Hunter and Harrison Berkshire, Jalen Adaway and Lyric Mallory, great- great grandson, Draven Holt.
She is also survived by her brother, Sonny (Agnes) Small of Royal Center and sister, Charleen Bigford of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, two sisters-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by a grandchild, Aja Hiatt.
Due to our current public gathering restrictions Maryann’s visitation and service will be private.
Burial will be at Kistler Cemetery. The family requests memorial gifts may be made to the Dean & Maryann Berkshire Scholarship Fund at the Cass County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 441, Logansport, Indiana 46947
Arrangements have been entrusted to Rans Funeral Homes & Crematory, Harrison Chapel, Royal Center.
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