Cover photo for Benjamin Berka's Obituary
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1924 Benjamin 2018

Benjamin Berka

July 1, 1924 — October 3, 2018

Services for Benjamin Edward Berka, 94, of Caldwell are set for 4 p.m., Saturday, October 6, 2018 at Strickland Funeral Home Chapel in Caldwell. Interment will follow at Masonic Cemetery. Military Honors will be provided by VFW Post #4458. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, October 5, 2018 also at the funeral home. Mr. Berka passed from this world on October 3, 2018.

Ben was born July 1, 1924 at home in Burleson County to Frantisek J. Berka and Rosie Ann Vavra. He spent his growing up years in Milam and Burleson counties, helping raise his younger siblings. After his father’s death in 1934, Ben became the man of the family at age 9. From that moment on, he took on the responsibility of helping his mother Rosie provide for their small family.

At age 17 he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, a depression-era federal work program to help American families, and spent time in several camps across Texas, including Tahoka and Lamesa out south of the High Plains of Texas, sending most of his pay home to his Mother.

A stint in the US Navy late in WW2 taught him he did not want a military career. He returned to Burleson county in 1945 and enrolled in a trade school being offered at the old Bryan airfield. After 6 months of commuting back and forth to the airfield, he completed the upholstery course. When he moved his family to Caldwell in 1972, he built and opened his own upholstery shop on Hwy. 36 where he continued upholstering auto seats and furniture. His work was much sought after both locally and state-wide. He had customers who would drop off furniture and have to wait months to pick up their finished piece due to Ben's skills and popularity. He was a master upholsterer and known far and wide for his skills. He covered and repaired everything from sofas to car seats to tractor seats. When he retired at age 65, customers would still bring him work. His daughter recalled someone leaving a car out at his shop for nearly a year, hoping he'd come out of retirement to re-do the car's interior. There were also tractor seats, boat seats and saddles he was asked to repair. He was a great role model to his children with his unwavering work ethic.

He enjoyed working in his vegetable garden, tinkering with old machinery, and in his younger years working on old electronics. He liked to read, play the guitar and spend time with his buddies at the VFW Hall and the Czech Museum.

Benjamin was a member of VFW Post #4458, American Legion # 455, Burleson County Czech Heritage Museum, and U.S.S. Sperry AS12 Association.

His favorite indulgences were Blue Bell ice cream, peach cobbler, and kolaches.

Benjamin is survived by his son, Timothy Berka of Caldwell; daughters, Glenda Berka of Caldwell, Anita & Alben Prazak, Jr. of Caldwell; brother, Quincy Berka of Caldwell; and sister, Doris Broaddus of Caldwell.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Katherine (Argo) Berka; sisters, Norma Jankiowiak, Zelma Hester, Janie Hruska; and brother, Charles Berka.

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Visitation

STRICKLAND FUNERAL HOME - CALDWELL
  • Email Details
  • 530 HWY 36 SOUTH
    CALDWELL, Texas 77836

Funeral Service

STRICKLAND FUNERAL HOME - CALDWELL
  • Email Details
  • 530 HWY 36 SOUTH
    CALDWELL, Texas 77836
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