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Lorene J. Berkley

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Wiefels Twentynine Palms Mortuary

6522 Desert Queen Avenue
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
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Memories & Candles

“missing u mom and that wonderful wit and sense of humor. thanking God for your life and example of strength. love chelle ”
1 of 5 | Posted by: Michelle Lofland - murrieta, CA

“Loving and Missing U this sunday morning. And u inspire me--even in death--to get up, be motivated and "do something about my situation"--"make good...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: michelle loriene lofland - CA

“missing u mom and watching TV shows like Andy Griffin--u loved Opey always said how "cute" he is. missing being at your bedside with u crocheting...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: michelle loriene lofland - CA

“Mom, Mamma, "Miss Loriene" are the names I affectionaley called you. I miss you so much. Your witty, ironic, funny statements along with the wise...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Michelle LORIENE Berkley - CA

“MOM., Mamma, Miss Loriene are the names I affectionely called you when your were here on earth with us. You did a mighty fine job with raising 6...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Michelle LORIENE Berkley - CA


Lorene (a.k.a. Loriene) Berkley, age 74, died on Wednesday, November 25th in Joshua Tree, California after a mighty and courageous battle with COPD. Lorene was born to A.B. and Willie Mae (Nelson) Jackson in Shreveport, Louisiana. The family moved to California when she was nine along with many other African Americans who moved west to escape the hardships of the South. She eventually settled in Twentynine Palms in the early 2000s. She spoke of working in the peach orchards of the Central Valley as a girl, and eventually going to work for her father in the construction business. After her marriage on February 27, 1959 to Braxton Berkley of Compton, California, she graduated from Centennial High School in Compton with a scholarship in hand for college. Instead of college, however, Lorene settled down with her new husband to raise a family.

Highly intelligent and curious by nature, Lorene was a renaissance woman who did not need a formal education to understand the ways of the world. She attended vocational school for secretarial work and became such a whiz at shorthand that she made it look like magic. She was an avid and eclectic reader; there was not a room in her house without books. While she didn't have a chance to travel the world, she was able to explore the entire universe through reading. She was a lover of all things creative. Aside from drawing, she was a needle arts expert and spent many hours crocheting beautiful and intricate filigree tablecloths and bedspreads. She taught her girls to sew and to quilt, and when the schools wouldn't do it, she taught all of her children the importance of African American heritage and taking pride in who they were.

If there was one word that could describe Lorene Berkley it would be resilience. After her divorce, she moved back to Louisiana in 1972 and raised six strong-willed children by herself when all she had was her wit and tenacity to keep her going and to keep them fed. They continue to benefit to this day from the lessons she taught them— to be strong and use the good sense God gave you, to pick yourself back up and dust yourself off when you fall (and you will fall), to work hard, and to always keep your word and treasure your integrity.

Loriene is preceded in death by her brother Calvin (Terry) Brown and sister Betty Smith, her mother Willie Mae Brown, and father A.B. Jackson. She leaves behind to honor her memory brothers Leroy Jackson (Mary), John (Henry) Brown, and Kenneth Brown (Annette Bolin Brown), sisters Carolyn Belton (Clem) and Joann Brown. To continue her legacy are her six children: Braxton (Sherease), Michelle Lofland, Jeffrey (Carmellia), Faye Snowden (Eric), Vivianne Denu, and Constance. She will be missed by a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.

Visitation with funeral services immediately following will be held on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Wiefels Funeral Home at 6522 Desert Queen Avenue, Twentynine Palms, California 92277. Internment will take place immediately following the funeral services at Joshua Tree Memorial Park, 60121 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, California 92252.