Christopher Barrett Berking, 54, of Cole Street, Beverly, died June
3, 2016, at Lahey Medical Center in Burlington, after a courageous
year-long battle with cancer.
Born in Providence, RI, he was the son of Milo and Sheila Berking of
Barrington, RI. Chris attended Barrington schools and finished his
last two years of high school, graduating in 1979 from the the Moses
Brown School in Providence. He earned a BA in Business Management
from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1983. Always an athlete, he enjoyed
playing soccer, hockey, lacrosse and rugby in high school and on
club teams in college. He played for the Providence Rugby Club for
years after college. Chris grew up sailing on Narragansett Bay,
hiking in New Hampshire's White Mountains and also enjoyed skiing
and hockey. He was an avid sports fan, rooting for his teams - the
Patriots, Bruins and Red Sox.
On September 25, 1988, he married his soul mate, Sheryl Blackman,
the daughter of David and Patricia Blackman of Gloucester. Chris and
Sheryl welcomed their daughter Alexandra into the world in 1993.
They moved from the Back Bay of Boston to Beverly, to make a good
life for their family and were blessed with the arrival of daughter
Meghan in 1996. Being a father was Chris's greatest joy. He was a
wonderful father and provider and attended every soccer game,
concert or assembly, reveling in his daughters' accomplishments in
their sports, high marks and honors.
Mr. Berking enjoyed a successful career as a Branch Manager and
later as Merchandise Analyst for Finlay Fine Jewelry, Inc. which ran
the retail jewelry stores within Jordan Marsh / Filene's in the
Northeast. He worked for Finlay for more than twenty years. He also
worked as a buyer for PetEdge and later found a calling in the
insurance industry working as a sales agent for Aflac Insurance.
Chris loved his work because he believed he was helping people -
firefighters, police and small business owners - plan for their
future with proper insurance coverage. He was happiest when he could
fulfill a claim and sincerely help his clients at a time of their
More than for his career, Chris was known for his warm and modest
character, lightning fast wit and a smile that would light up a
room. Like the father who raised him, he had a wonderful moral
compass, a gentle demeanor and impeccable manners. He was upbeat in
his fight against his cancer and routinely put those around him at
ease with his humor and fearless positivity.
Chris is survived by his loving wife Sheryl and devoted daughters,
Alexandra Berking of Potsdam, NY, and Meghan Berking of Beverly; his
sister-in-law Heidi Blackman Porat of Los Angeles; his siblings
Bobbie Berking Dalzell and her husband Dave of Providence, RI;
Carter Berking of Westborough, and his former wife Adele of Upton;
and Maggie Berking Daigle and her husband Bob of Casco, ME. He is
also survived by his maternal aunt Barbara Sanders of Lovettesville,
VA; his mother-in-law Barbara Blackman and her children: Bob Dreier
and his wife Sheri, Amy Maher and her husband Patrick. Chris was
loved by his many nieces and nephews: James, Emma and goddaughter
Charlotte Sands-Berking; Gabriella and Zak Porat; Brian and Theresa
Maher; Sarah and David Dalzell; Evan and Keith Daigle. Chris is also
survived by nine step siblings and their families: Kate and Sandy
Heavenrich of Richmond, VA; Keb and Debi Carr of Ventura, CA; Sylvie
and Don Rubenstein of Walnut Creek, CA; Deb and Paul Adamy Nyack,
NY; Matt and Melissa Carr of Midlothian, VA; Suzy and Christian
Weber of Midlothian, VA; Dan and Kari Carr of Fairfield, CT; Liz &
Dom Gennusa of Harrison, NY; John & Abby Carr of Needham. Chris will
be sorely missed by his beloved Field Spaniel, Molly.
A memorial celebration of life will be held at 11am on Saturday,
June 25, 2016, at Christ Church Chapel, 149 Asbury Street, South
Hamilton. A reception for friends and family will follow the
service. Private burial will be at Seaside Cemetery, Gloucester.
Arrangements by Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.