Cover photo for David E. Berlien's Obituary
David E. Berlien Profile Photo
1956 David 2023

David E. Berlien

August 16, 1956 — April 25, 2023

Delton, MI

David E. Berlien, age 66, of Delton passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday morning, April 25, 2023.  He was born in San Francisco, California on August 16, 1956, and was the son of David L. and Paula (Goodhew) Berlien, and graduated from Gull Lake High School with the Class of 1974.  David owned and operated Contemporary Coachworks and the Automotive Technical Education Group, spending the majority of his life in the Battle Creek and Delton areas.

David married the “Love of His Life”, Karen D. Penny in Richland on November 8, 1974; she survives.  He is also survived by his children, David L. (Suzann) Berlien II. of Delton and Jennifer Berlien of Grand Rapids; his son-in-law, Jamy Smith; three grandchildren, David E. Berlien II., Isabelle Smith and Ethan Smith; and step-brothers, Jeffrey, Thomas (Mary), and Scott (Wendy) Clark.  He was preceded in death by his parents; his mom, Ruth Berlien; and his sister, Andrea Berlien.

David & Karen were founding members of the Gilmore Cruise-In, where they have been active for more than 24 years.  He had a great love for muscle cars and enjoyed rebuilding and restoring several of them.  David was extremely handy, and helped to build several homes.  He truly loved spending time with his family and his “Car Family”. 

A memorial car show and gathering to celebrate David’s life will be held 2:00 to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, May 20th at the Hickory Corners American Legion Post #484, 3801 W Hickory Rd, Hickory Corners, MI 49060.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cadwallader Park Improvement Fund, C/O The Hickory Corners American Legion Post #484. Arrangements by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek.  Personal messages for the family may be placed here at

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Car Show and Gathering

Saturday, May 20, 2023

2:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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