Barbara Berkhout passed away unexpectedly at her home in Vermillion on December 15, 2022. She was 81 years old and had lived in Vermillion since 1973.
Barbara was born Barbara Ann Hein in Denver Colorado in 1941. The German side of her family were auto mechanics in Denver. The Czech side were farmers in Broomfield, near Boulder. The wheat farm where she kept her pet horse in the 1950's is now a suburb of Boulder and grows houses.
Barbara graduated from East High School in Denver in 1959 and entered Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She spent her junior year in Freiburg, Germany, and her senior year at the University of Chicago. In 1967 she earned a master's degree in English Literature at UCLA in California, specializing in the works of Charles Dickens.
In 1973 she and her husband Jan moved to Vermillion, living on several acres north of town with a variety of horses, goats, chickens and ducks. Barbara raised three children here and worked for a while in town as a deputy Clerk of Courts. She also wrote occasional columns for the Vermillion Plain Talk. She filled her life with her children, travels and exploring traditional French, Czech and American cooking.
A memorial service with her family and friends will be held at the Hansen Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at 3:00 pm. Burial will be in Mitchell, SD on Friday, January 6, alongside her daughter Mimi, who pre-deceased her in 2017.
Barbara is survived by her husband, two sons, and four grandchildren. Jan Berkhout is still teaching psychology at USD. Brodie Berkhout lives in Virginia Beach after a 30-year career in the US Navy submarine service. Bjorn Berkhout is a musician in New York City, composing, playing the cello and chairing the music department at Queens Community Colleg