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Obituary: Mira Tetkowski Berkley

Sat, Mar 23rd 2024 07:00 am

Mira Tetkowski Berkley, of Fredonia, died unexpectedly on Feb. 14, 2024, at Brooks Memorial Hospital.

Mira was born in Buffalo on June 19, 1952. She spent most of her childhood on Grand Island, with a couple of years spent living in Siena, Italy. Through this experience, she developed a lifelong passion for travel and Italian culture.

Mira received her bachelor’s degree in education from Cornell University and her master’s degree from Buffalo State. She moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to work as a preschool teacher. There, she met her husband of 46 years, Jack Berkley. After getting married, they moved to Arizona where they had their first child, Jory, and then to Fredonia, where they had their second son, Alexander, and where they lived for the next 40 years.

Mira worked as a kindergarten teacher in Silver Creek before becoming a college professor at Jamestown Community College for several years. During this time, she worked on and earned her Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, eventually leading to a position at SUNY Fredonia where she served as chair of the early childhood department.

Mira led several overseas trips for students to learn from other cultures, including to Wales, England, Belize and Italy. She was a lifelong advocate for learning through play. Upon retiring from SUNY Fredonia, Mira worked for Quality Stars, training pre-K teachers in New York City. Mira’s influence on her students and the impact that she had on children in New York state is incalculable.

She loved Dipper ice cream, walking dogs to the creek, and monarch butterflies.

Mira leaves behind her loving husband, Jack; her son, Alex (Kayleigh); four grandchildren: Clemmie, Polly, Evan and Caroline. She also leaves behind her mother, Lenore Tetkowski; her brother, Neil (Olga) Tetkowski; her sister, Diane (Ron) Pokorski; and many close nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and a great-great niece.

She was predeceased by her son, Jory; and her father, Clement Tetkowski. Mira made everyone she met feel like the most important person in the world. Her memory is our blessing.

A memorial service will be held and announced this summer. Online condolences may be made at larsontimkofuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by David J. Dengler, Larson-Timko Funeral Home.

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