Harlan Gene Berghorst age 73 passed away May 20, 2020 at his home surrounded by his loved ones. On January 14, 1947 Harlan was born in Los Angeles, California, to Henry and Hermina (VanHolland) Berghorst. At age 1 the family moved to South Dakota where they grew up on the family dairy farm. He was nicknamed “Butch” by is paternal grandfather. Harlan was blessed to grow up with 3 sisters, Janice Siemonsma, Ardith Berghorst and Deanne Kracht and infant brother Ronald who passed away shortly after birth.
On June 21, 1965, Harlan married the love of his life Phyllis Elaine Trotter, celebrating 55 years. He was very proud of his Dutch heritage, and took pleasure in hard work, and ranching. With a solid arm, and a steel shovel, he worked construction for Custer County Highway Department. In 1971 Harlan began employment with the City of Broken Bow dedicating 34 years of service, spending the last several years as Superintendent of Street, Park, and Pool. During this time, he also owned/operated Berghorst Tree Service for 50 years with his son Jeff and grandson Jonathan. He also owned a livestock operation with his son Josh. In 2005, he went on to own and operate Berghorst Land Clearing for 15 years. His role in the family business, as manager and leader, introduced him to many people he considered family. Due to health conditions, he retired in 2019. The strength of his body, mind, and spirit shaped a life of stewardship and love. He was a great mentor to many young children. He had great pride in and love for each child, grandchild, and great grandchild, and honored they were given his name sake.
Survived by his wife, Phyllis, of Broken Bow; daughter Alicia (Ryan) Kelly of Lexington; sons Jeff (Lisa) Berghorst of Broken Bow and Josh (Christy) Berghorst of Berwyn, special foster son Austin (Donny) Furrow of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Grandchildren Jonathan (Kaleigh) Berghorst, Lacey (Nate) Holcomb, Lexie Berghorst (special friend Jordan), Brandon Gottschalk (special friend Taylor), Derek (Shadell) Gottschalk, Emily Gottschalk, Devin Berghorst, Alex Berghorst, Trey Berghorst, and Wade Berghorst; Great-Grandchildren Harley Berghorst, Raegan Berghorst, Chandler Berghorst, Everleigh Holcomb, Jamie Holcomb, Skylinn Gottschalk, and Brecken Gottschalk; sisters Janice Siemonsma, Ardith Berghorst and Deanne Kracht; sister in law Linda (Marvin) Johnson and Jan Trotter; and many nieces and nephews.
Preceded in death by his parents Henry and Hermina Berghorst, infant brother Ronald, parents-in-law Herman and Ruby Trotter, sisters-in-law Francis Trotter, Shirley Trotter, and Mary Hendrickson, brothers-in-law Ted Hendrickson, Clifford Trotter.
A private funeral service will be held Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at Govier Brothers Chapel in Broken Bow with Pastor Becky Dobitsch officiating. The funeral will be live streamed, go to www.govierbrothers.com . Burial will be in the Broken Bow Township Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to First Presbyterian Church Sunday School Fund or Custer County 4-H Activities. A visitation will be held Friday, May 22nd, from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 23rd, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Govier Brothers Mortuary. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. An online guest book can be signed at www.govierbrothers.com. Govier Brothers Mortuary will comply with the CDC and State of Nebraska. We sincerely encourage each person to make your decision whether to attend a visitation based on the best interest of your health and that of your community.