Sky Scene 06

David H. Berles

November 3, 2021


David Hedrick Berles, age 84, East Grand Rapids, MI, passed away unexpectedly on November 3rd, 2021 due to complications due to a long-term health condition in the company of his family.  He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, coach, teacher, counselor, tennis instructor, and he was affectionately known as the Senator and “never met a friend he didn’t already know”.  Born in East Lansing and raised in East Grand Rapids, he was the son of F. Don and Marian Berles. He attended Wealthy Elementary and was active in sports and his house was the gathering spot for all of his friends for french fries and milkshakes. He was a delivery boy for the Grand Rapids Gazette. He later attended East Grand Rapids High School where he played football and basketball, but most importantly found his life-long love of tennis, the sport “you can play all of your life”.  He attended Grand Rapids Junior College where he played tennis and competed at the national level. After GRJC, he followed his ancestor’s lineage and attended Michigan State University, as a proud third generation Spartan. While at MSU he played tennis and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.  While attending GRJC, he began dating Mary Kay Page, who later became his wife, and they recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Dave and Mary Kay were long standing members of First United Methodist Church. They were lifelong residents of East Grand Rapids and later transitioned to life at Clark Retirement Home. An important part of Dave’s life was spending time at his cottage in Bay View, Michigan. He began taking his family there in 1976 and has spent every summer there since. He served as the beloved tennis director in Bay View for 25 years and spread his love of tennis to many generations. His memory there will live on with the annual Berles Tennis Tournament. He also ran the East Hills Retiree Mix and Match tennis group from 1995-2013.  Dave had a 40-year career as a teacher, counselor and tennis coach at East Kentwood High School. He was inducted into the Michigan Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994.  Dave is survived by his wife, his children Kathy Duisterhof (Tom Duisterhof) and Jim (Kristin), both 4th generation Spartans, and four granddaughters, Page and Maggie Duisterhof (5th generation Spartans), Elly Duisterhof and Amelia Berles. Sister, Mary Lindsay, brother-in-law, James Page, and sister-in-law Susan Bachelder and seven nieces and nephews.  We will all miss Dave’s well known signature ”Go Green”, and his ability to make all feel welcome.  A small private graveside memorial will be held on Monday, November 8th and memorials will be held at Clark Retirement Home and in Bay View, MI to be announced at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Benevolent Care Endowment Fund at the Clark Retirement Foundation or the Bay View Recreation Department.


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