Berke, Joseph Benjamin

January 23, 2004

On Monday, January 19, 2004; DR. JOSEPH BENJAMIN BERKE was born in Mt. Ranier, Maryland on April 17, 1912, the first son of Julius and Sarah. His father was a grocer and butcher and Joseph worked in his father's shop as a child. Joseph grew up in Baltimore and graduated from Baltimore City College in 1930. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1935 and was the first Jew to graduate from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and Pharmacy. He served in the Public Health Service (later part of the Coast Guard) during World War II as a dental surgeon and was stationed at the U.S. Marine Hospital at 67 Hudson Street in New York City. He practiced dentistry in Baltimore for 40 years and was licensed in Maryland and California. He also was a pioneer of the use of hypnosis in dentistry, having studied with famed psychologist Milton Erickson. Among the boards Dr. Berke served on were the Board of the Institute for Comprehensive Medicine, Friends of Psychiatric Research, and the American Board of Hypnosis in Dentistry. He was a member of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States and was a Life Member of the American Dental Association. He moved to Central Florida in 1972 and was active in civic organizations, most recently the Stag Club, the University Club in Winter Park, and the Retired Dentists of Central Florida. He is survived by his wife of 40 years Jane Berke in Longwood and by his sons Joel Berke, a filmmaker in California, and Elliot Berke, an attorney in Washington, DC. He is also survived by daughters-in-law Yu Lin Berke and Lindsey Berke and by granddaughter Matilda Berke. His younger brothers Morris and Nathan passed away in 2002 in Baltimore and in 1988 in Altamonte Springs, respectively. Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, January 22, 2204 at 2 PM at Baldwin-Fairchild Forest City Chapel. A Reception will be held immediately following the Service at the University Club of Orlando at 150 East Central Orlando, FL 32801. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University Club Scholarship Fund at 150 East Central Orlando, FL 32801 or 407-425-2514.

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