Alta B. Berkstresser
Alta B. Berkstresser, 89, passed away on Dec. 24, 2023. Born in Lindsay, Neb., on April 19, 1934, Alta studied to be a nurse in Sioux City, Iowa, where she met and married George W. Berkstresser. Alta and George moved to Sargent, Colo., in 1964 where they raised their family and built an extensive community over the years.
Alta loved to bake and was well known in the area for her whole wheat potato doughnuts. Alta was active in the life of Sargent Community Church where she volunteered for many years with the Mary Martha’s group. Her love of community and volunteering extended also to many years of service with PEO, the Boy Scouts, 4-H and Beaver Creek Youth Camp. Her devotion to Beaver Creek Youth Camp went especially deep as she raised monies for many years to build an all-season lodge that is now named after the family.
Alta had a passionate love of nature and especially for the wildflowers of the Southwest. She had an extensive knowledge of the many varieties of flowers in the region and spent years collecting photographs to catalog her discoveries. She shared her passion for flowers with the world through her volunteer work along with her husband George at Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad in Chama, N.M. There they spent several weeks each summer with fellow volunteers and friends as George worked on the trains, tracks and station and Alta planted flower gardens. To this day, the gardens delight travelers from around the world.
After their children were grown and left the house, Alta and George combined their love of travel with their joy of community through their involvement with Servas International, a non-profit organization that organizes travel with host families around the world. Alta and George stayed with host families in Asia, Europe and New Zealand as well as hosting families from around the world in their home in Sargent. They built friendships and community that lasted decades.
Alta is survived by her children Mark, Cheryl and Charles and her two grandchildren Breian and Kristen. Her legacy of love, community, and appreciation for the natural world lives on in the hearts of those she touched.
A memorial service to celebrate Alta's extraordinary life will be held in the summer of 2024 at Beaver Creek Youth Camp. Further details will be provided in due course, allowing family and friends to come together and honor a woman whose light will continue to shine in our hearts forever.