Kenneth Alfred Berndt, surrounded by family, died peacefully on Saturday, January 19, 2019. He was born in Oakland on June 15, 1928 to Marie Alice Berndt and Albert Walter Berndt. He was 90 years old.
He served on the El Cerrito City Council from 1970-1978, and was Mayor of El Cerrito in 1973 and 1974. Berndt was President of numerous Community Organizations, including: The Chamber of Commerce, The Lions Club, The Boys Club, Cerrito City Club, Northminster Presbyterian Church, and Fairmont School’s Dad’s Club. He was named Man of the Year for the Jaycees, the Area Business Chairman of the United Crusade. He was a member of the El Cerrito Citizens Conference, and won the Rotary Club’s Service Award. He is a past chairman of the Speakers Bureau of the Easter Seal Society, and a member of the “Citizens Conference on the Community’s Future”. He was executive secretary of the Contra Costa County Fluoridation Committee, Board Manager of the West Contra Costa Boy’s Club, and a 20 year member of the Boy Scout Executive Committee. He is a past Junior Chamber of Commerce District 17 “Speak-up” winner, and a Board member of the Sunset View Cemetery Association. He was a member of the Oakland A’s Community Advisory Board.
His involvement with the Contra Costa Civic Theatre, of El Cerrito, dates back to its very beginnings in the 1960s. As bank manager of Central Bank, he was instrumental in securing the loan for which the theatre was able to expand in 1970 to its current location. He also appeared in over a dozen plays and served as President of its Board of Directors.
He graduated from Berkeley High School in 1946 and immediately enlisted in the US Army. He was stationed in Japan for a time as a US infantry man and then Sergeant. Upon his return, he remained in the service for five years as an active Army Reserve. He then graduated from Armstrong College and the American Institute of Banking. He attended the University of California Berkeley Extension and spent over thirty years in the savings and loan and banking industry primarily at Central Bank and Bank of the West in El Cerrito.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 60 years, Patricia Berndt. He is the beloved father of Michael (Cheryl), Kevin (Vicki), Stacey (David Lawn); grandchildren, Lisa (Sean Maloney), Greg (Eunice Torrejon), Danielle (Raymond Egan), Jeff (Lisa), Mackenzie, Michael and Matthew; great-grandchildren, Dylan, Bradley, Gianna, Sophia, Emily and Michael. He also leaves behind his sister Lois Curtin and many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., at Sunset View Mortuary in El Cerrito. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider donating to the Alzheimer’s Association, East Bay Hospice, or your favorite charity.