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Keith Merlyn Berghorst

July 21, 1946 ~ December 22, 2019 (age 73)

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Keith Merlyn Berghorst, 73, passed away peacefully at his home on December 22, 2019 after a lengthy battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. He leaves behind his wife and best friend, Annetta, who cherishes the 48 years they spent raising their children Natalie (Martin), Nathan (Jennifer), Heidi, and Levi. He also treasured his role as grandpa to nine beautiful grandchildren, Riley, Devin, Bailey, Alex, Leah, Luke, Cole, Isaac, and Brooklyn. 

Keith was born on July 21, 1946 in Luverne, Minnesota. He grew up the fifth of ten children and enjoyed reminiscing of mischief and mayhem on the farm with his siblings, and anyone else they could recruit to participate. In 1950, his family moved from Luverne to Dawson, Minnesota. He attended country elementary school in Dawson and was proud to note that when the Berghorst family moved away to Artesia in 1960, there were only 3 or 4 kids left behind in the one-room schoolhouse.  

His memories of the move to California were mixed, as he enjoyed earning his Gold Trunks for his athleticism but was also working to adjust to city life after growing up on the farm. In 1966, he was drafted into the Army and proudly served his country for 2 years. 

Dad enjoyed his ‘66 GTO and riding his motorcycle. In 1970, he and his good friend Darryl, took a few months and toured the US on their bikes. It was during this trip that Keith met his future bride, Annetta Top. His love for his family was evident to anyone who knew him. His four surviving children and his nine grandchildren have many fond memories to last a lifetime though in 1977, he and Annetta endured the loss of daughter, Heather. 

Keith loved to travel, and in 2014, they downsized from their Sioux Falls acreage to a 35-foot RV. He, Annetta, and their loyal dog, Zach traversed the country several times, always making new friends along the way. He was notorious for offering coffee to acquaintances and then turning to Ma and saying, “Netta, coffee’s on, right?”. Though his daughters tried diligently to convert him to the foo-foo coffee drinks of today, he was rather stubborn, preferring a hot cup of Folgers. Indeed, his favorite times were chatting with friends and family so that he could make short stories long.

If there is one thing he would want people to know about him, it is that he is with his Lord and Savior now. Through his illness and suffering, he remained a dignified patriarch reminding those he loved, “Don’t forget your nightimers”.  

Along with his wife, children, and grand-children, he is survived by eight remaining siblings, Joe, Miriam, Faith, Ginger, Darwin, Judi, Bonnie, and Gene. He is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Ruth, brother Bill, and daughter Heather.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Keith Merlyn Berghorst, please visit our floral store.


December 27, 2019

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Deegan Ripon Memorial Chapel
111 S. Palm Avenue
Ripon, CA 95366

Memorial service
December 28, 2019

11:00 AM
Calvary Reformed Church
741 2nd Street
Ripon, CA 95366

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