William Berger, 81William “Bill” Berger was born in Toledo, Ohio on April 18, 1930, the son of Louis and Gladys Berger.
William “Bill” Berger was born in Toledo, Ohio on April 18, 1930, the son of Louis and Gladys Berger. He graduated from Worthington High School in 1947. During his high school years he participated in track and football and helped on the farm.
He enlisted in the Air Force and served in Germany during the Berlin Airlift. He received a special commendation for his service there, was promoted to sergeant and also received accounting training. He was honorably discharged in 1950.
Bill was united in marriage to Evelyn Joyce Japenga on December 20, 1949 and to this couple were born Julie, Michael, Lonnie, Larry, Janet and Lance.
Bill and Joyce farmed with their parents in Worthington and Lake Benton, and then Bill was hired by Nobles County Oil Company in Worthington. He worked as an accountant at the King Company in Owatonna and then for Assembly Homes in Glenwood. He then moved on to work for the Alexandria Boatworks, where he eventually became vice president. He developed the Palmer Staple Company into a thriving business and ended his career working for Annova, before retiring in 1993.
During his years in Alexandria, he served on many boards and also as the president of the local Rotary Club. He was active in various church ministries as well and served as an officer in Gideons International at the state and local levels. He spent many years ministering to both children and adults as a ventriloquist with “Willy” at churches and Bible camps.
Bill enjoyed woodworking and making picture frames, breadboxes and cradles for his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed collecting antiques with Joyce and developing a family tree, from which he later used the information collected to complete a family book. He also loved flower gardening.
Bill and Joyce spent many retirement years traveling with their RV in the winter months and eventually settled in a retirement village in Mission, Texas.
More than anything, Bill enjoyed being with his family. He especially loved telling the latest joke or riddle to his grandchildren. The smile and twinkle in his eye just before the punch line was their favorite.
Bill was a resident of the Freddy Gonzalez Texas Veterans Home the last three years of his life. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Doctors Renaissance Hospital in Edinburg, Texas.
He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Joyce Berger of Mission, Texas; sons, Lonnie Berger of Fergus Falls, Larry Berger of Jeffersonville, Indiana, Lance Berger of Apple Valley; daughters, Julie Sterk of Garfield, Janet Lauer of Lakeville; grandchildren, Jeremy Sterk, Bryan Sterk, Sarah Davey, Amy Berger, Allison Tenge, Aaron Berger, Alisa Rolands, Annie Berger, Aric Berger, Alex Berger, Brianne Kalina, Tess Lauer, Leah Lauer, Jesse Lauer, Michael Berger, Kendra Berger; great-grandchildren, Jordan Kalina, Mason Otto, Maddie Davey, Tanner Davey, Chloe Davey, Carter Tenge and Kellen Tenge; sisters, Betty Gowan of Haines City, Florida, Phylis Baker of Alexandria, Nancy Wallin of Louisville, Kentucky, and Margaret Berger of Dana Point, California.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Gladys; sister, Carol; and infant son, Michael.
A memorial service will be held for Bill on Saturday, December 3 at 10:30 a.m. at Living Waters Church in Alexandria.
Memorials may be sent to Gideons International.
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