Daryl Berlin, 82, “headed to the home corral” on August 14, 2023, passing peacefully at his home in Orem, Utah, covered in his Willie Nelson blanket. He was born April 14, 1941, in Torrance, CA, to Zepha Mae (McClurg) Berlin and Louis Berlin. At the age of five, the family moved to Perris, CA.
Daryl graduated from Perris High School in 1959. He joined the Air Force in February 1960, completed basic training in San Antonio, TX, and studied to be a Camera Control technician in Denver, CO. He went to Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, where he finished his four years of service. During that time, he went to Coco Beach, FL, where his unit camped on the beach during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and he maintained the cameras in the F-106 Interceptor. He loved anything and everything about airplanes, a passion that was passed down to his son Dustin and grandson Luke. At any given time, the television in the bedroom would be tuned to Air Warriors, Air Disasters, or a war documentary. He enjoyed four-wheeling, scenic drives in his truck, and Mexican food. He also had a wicked sweet tooth!
Daryl joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 1961 while stationed at Langley, walking into a meetinghouse and asking for the missionaries! During tech school in Denver, he went to USO dances with a buddy, met an LDS girl and went to church a couple of times. He felt the church was the place he wanted to be. Two weeks later he was baptized at the age of 19. Throughout his life in the church, he served on the High Council, as Gospel Doctrine Teacher, and Financial Clerk (when the Bishop’s counselor asked him to serve as clerk, he said “Brother Berlin, if you’re going to sit in the hallway during church meetings, I have the perfect calling for you!)”
He received his call to serve a church mission in December 1963, finished his military service in February 1964, and began his two-year mission in Mexico. After returning, Daryl attended BYU, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Recreation Management and a Master of Public Administration. His work life began with a job in Santa Rosa, CA as an assistant to the city manager and two years later he was named the Assistant City Manager, where he worked for 7 years.
Daryl served as the Orem City Manager for 14 years (1980-1994) and stepped down after a serious heart attack. He was named City Manager of the Year twice, and served under Mayors Jim Mangum, DeLance Squire, Blaine Willis, Joyce Johnson, and Stella Welsh. He was instrumental in making sure women received equal pay; established master plans for sewer, water, streets, parks, and land use; and developed an employee retirement system. Daryl made the deal to purchase SCERA Park so it would remain a park in perpetuity and not become commercially developed. He helped create Wordperfect Business Park, CEDO, Orem Redevelopment Agency, and many other projects. He said one of his greatest accomplishments was “not getting fired!”
After leaving the city, Daryl went to URMMA (Utah Risk Management Association) in Orem as the CEO for seven years and went on to the private development sector as a partner with Washburn & Associates. He was then asked by the SCERA Board to guide them through the establishment of a strategic plan and became CEO after SCERA’s longtime President Norm Nielsen retired. He spent two years at SCERA, where he met his future wife, April Sue Wetzel, a long-time employee that he humorously quipped was “feisty.” Although there was a 25-year age difference, there was a spark between them. Folklore has it that during those early strategic meetings at SCERA, Daryl told a colleague “I’m going to marry that girl.” They married on June 25, 2004, in the Mount Timpanogos LDS Temple. April liked to joke “He was my boss for a while, but now I’m the boss!”
Daryl is survived by his two children: Dustin Wade (Sabine) Berlin of Provo, UT; Erin Nicole Berlin of Georgetown, TX; six grandchildren (Marina, Cali, Luke, Taylor, Rylynn and Adalie); twin sister Daryln (Irwin) Greenberg of Boynton Beach, FL; sister Zelda Melancon of Coupeville, WA; and brother Jan (Janet) Berlin of Goleta, CA. He was married to the late Anita Berlin for 25 years, and they were thrilled to bring Dustin and Erin into their lives through adoption. Daryl was a champion and advocate for his children and grandchildren. He encouraged Dustin in aviation and was Erin’s loudest cheerleader as a gymnast, business owner, and in life. He was her hero.
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For those unable to attend in person, you may view the Services HERE
Berlin, Daryl Services(After conversion).mp3